They will all be rich in words

9th February 2007 at 00:00
School caretaker Jean McBreeze might not be a teacher but she still has an important role to play next week in helping children become word millionaires.

She joins head cook Sue Gilbert at Ysgol Glan Morfa in Abergele, Conwy, to help the pupils to read more in both Welsh and English.

The Basic Skills Agency launches its Read a Million Words campaign in Wales next week. And this year the whole school community will be asked to raise the literacy levels of pupils and help them reach the million-word milestone.

Wales-only figures show that almost 17 per cent of seven-year-olds and 21 per cent of 11-year-olds do not achieve the expected literacy levels in English.

This year, the BSA is asking children to count the number of words that surround them every day, in and out of the classroom. Bedtime stories can also be counted in their quest to become word perfect.

In the school kitchens of Ysgol Glan Morfa, Ms Gilbert will be reading through each day's menu with two different pupils to increase their word count.

Ms McBreeze said: "I am going to read words on emergency signs and fire exits to the children."

Head Arwel Roberts said: "Involving everyone in the school will certainly help improve pupils' skills in both Welsh and English."

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