Now read on: The National Year of reading update;Noticeboard;Briefing

21st May 1999 at 01:00
MAY 22-JUNE 6 YOUNG READERS UK: The National Book Festival For Children and Young People, Birmingham Events in city libraries and many other venues including the street. The second week coincides with half-term and is aimed at children and families; the first week is more school-based. There will be "meet-the-author" sessions; writing workshops, storytelling and much more.

Highlights MAY 25 Briefing the Professionals, a day conference on the training of teachers and children's librarians in relation to children's literature. MAY 27 250 secondary school pupils will debate the motion: "This house believes that a book is always better when it's on TV" in the Library Theatre.

MAY 30 Bonanza Bookfair at Aston Hall. Will include illustration and cartoon workshops, African singing and dance, games and music, poetry and storytelling performances.

JUNE 6 Launch and open-air performance of Stories Through the Millennium, a pack developed with the Society for Storytelling for parents, teachers and librarians. A Young Critics Award is being run in conjunction with Birmingham Cable TV. For further information and programmes ring 0121 303 3368, fax: 0121 233 9702.

MAY 29 LIBRARIES REACHING PARENTS After the Cup Final, Kick Off! (a campaign by libraries and the world of sport) gets the ball rolling for fathers and sons reading together. Football, cricket and fishing clubs, leisure centres and gyms are taking part (some offering ticket discounts to fathers and sons who have read titles on the linked book lists from Random House). Details from participating libraries (in Buckingham, Doncaster, Hull, Milton Keynes, North Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Portsmouth, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wiltshire and Windsor amp; Maidenhead).

May 31-June 13 Asda supermarkets are joining libraries in another Reaching Parents campaign, The Big Read. Look out for the in-store story corners and the mobile library in the car park. More details in Friday magazine on May 28 JUNE 4 READ ON A BP-sponsored project to promote paired reading in Scottish primary schools, pairing older with younger pupils. BP has produced a video and materials and the five LEAs in which pilot projects took place can help those interested in setting up their own projects. More information on the website: psychologyRead On or telephone Moira Connor on 01324 476335.

JUNE 16-20 DEFINING THE NATION The idea for this Arts Council-sponsored project came from Arthrob, which aims to challenge young people's ideas about literary events. Events aiming to promote reading will take place in nightclubs including The Mint Rooms in Leeds (June 16); Night and Day in Manchester (June 17) and The New Scala in London (June 20). Writers taking part, chosen to represent different sections of the cultural community, will include Irvine Welsh and Biyi Bandele, the first black writer to be commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Details from Arthrob on 0171 439 3857.

AUGUST 14-30 1999 EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL The schools' programme includes around 40 activities and sessions with top children's authors, including J K Rowling, Mairi Hedderwick, Tim Bowler and Michael Rosen. Children can meet the authors informally after each event. Schools' enquiries to Jen Wood on 0131 228 5444. For a full festival programme, call 09065 500010 NYR materials Multiple copies of NYR publicity materials are available free. Phone 0845 60 222 60 and quote the following reference numbers. The Halfway Report (NYR RM); theA2 Year of Reading Poster (NYR P1); the Year of Reading special issue of Literacy Today (NLT1); and the A5 leaflet (NYR2). Advice sheets for , schools, parents and others are also available from the Year of Reading team on 0171 828 2435.

Summer reading June's NYR theme is Other People, Other Places, promoting travel and holiday reading.

For half-term reading pleasure, join The TES on-page reading group: we'd like to send keen, opinionated readers one of the titles on our summer book list (contemporary fiction and non-fiction) and use a selection of their views to spark a discussion. If you can squeeze in a book over half term, contact Colette O'Neill for more details: fax 0171 782 3200; email Carolyn O'Grady

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