Rewards for reading

25th September 1998 at 01:00
I FEEL that Claire Simpson's assertion that "it is impossible to persuade most youngsters to get beyond horror stories and ghosted biographies of footballers" (TESS, September 4) must be challenged. Certainly the myth of children's narrow reading range is being successfully challenged in the school I work in, and many other schools in the Highland area.

Last year Alness Academy adopted the "Power Readers" model devised by the school librarian in Grantown. At school assemblies we have awarded over 50 certificates to first year pupils for achieving bronze-level Power Readers. To gain this award the pupils had to read a selection of poems from a poetry collection, two short stories, four different types of fiction, including a prize winner and a Scottish text, and a non-fiction text.

The next two levels, silver and gold, require the pupils to read a wider ranger of authors - including biographies. library. I am sure that they will, eventually, appreciate the work of Robin Jenkins, AL Kennedy and Iain Banks - and not just to fulfil the criteria for the review of personal reading.

Shona Davidson

English Department

Alness Academy

Ross-shire

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