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Melt into books

The other week I was at Springhill Primary School in Southampton opening its new library. Everyone had dressed up in pyjamas; hot chocolate and marshmallows were being served. But first, there was a ribbon to cut and stories to be told. Parents, who had raised money, joined us to share the opening.

Many schools are turning their attention to developing the love of reading.

The return of the daily class reader is an important part of establishing a reading culture. Promoting boys' books is also helping to counter the view that reading is a female activity.

Weekly recommendation sessions by children help to spread the buzz about books. Assemblies can be turned over to celebrating reading in all its various guises. Rewards may have to be given for reading, finishing books, completing reading logs and, in some schools, parents who support reading also receive badges and certificates.

Many schools use the National Literacy Trust's Reading Connections material to support their drive towards creating a reading community. The trust's excellent Reading Champions scheme rewards boys for their involvement.

Oh, you may be wondering why pyjamas? To celebrate the book at bedtime, of course www.readingchampions.org.uk www.readingconnects.org.uk

Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant

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