Witham MP, Priti Patel, has launched her yearly literacy initiative Get Witham Reading today.
Get Witham Reading was established in 2012 to encourage reading and improve literacy levels across the Witham constituency and it is now taking place for the seventh consecutive year. This year’s event has been endorsed by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds MP.
Priti opened the event today at Powers Hall Academy in Witham and a number of other schools from across the constituency – Templars Academy, Silver End Academy, Baynards Primary, Elm Hall Primary, Thurstable School and New Rickstones Academy – have also participated.
Representatives from Witham Library also took part and visited Powers Hall Academy to sign pupils up to their Summer Reading Challenge, which starts on Saturday 14 July and runs until 1 September.
“I was delighted to launch our seventh Get Witham Reading event today and to see so many pupils participate in a fantastic variety of events.
“I established Get Witham Reading in 2012 to bring the community together, help improve literacy levels and ultimately, encourage a love of reading. Recreational reading helps to foster imaginations as well as improve core academic skills.
“I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Powers Hall Academy, Templars Academy, Silver End Academy and Thurstable School today to meet with pupils, teachers and parents as well as join in with some of their activities.”
Mrs Jane Bass, CEO of Connected Learning MAT, said:
“Three of our schools based in Witham – Powers Hall Academy, Templars Academy, and Silver End Academy – have all participated in Get Witham Reading today. This year’s event has been a great success and I would like to thank Priti for visiting all three schools and for encouraging a love of reading among young people. It is fantastic to see so many of our pupils enjoying recreational reading and discussing their favourite books.
“Across all three of our schools, pupils have thoroughly enjoyed dressing up as characters from various books and taking part in the activities we have organised. Powers Hall Academy chose ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as their theme and have hosted a ‘Mad Hatters’ tea party; Templars Academy have transformed the school into different worlds from their favourite fantasy novels and pupils at Silver End Academy have had a magical day dressing up as Witches and Wizards. We are all looking forward to next year’s event already!”
Mr Miles Bacon, Headteacher at Thurstable School in Tiptree, said:
“I would like to thank Priti for taking such an active interest in education and particularly in reading and literacy in her constituency, for visiting Thurstable School today, and for taking part in our reading activities. Priti’s Get Witham Reading is an important initiative, helping to inspire pupils of all ages to read a variety of books and fostering a love of reading.
“Our day has focused on four novels carefully chosen to get reluctant teen readers reading. To draw the children into the exciting settings of the novels we have transformed four classrooms into tented worlds. Everyone taking part has had an exciting day reading sections of these four books in the worlds in which they are set, and we have stocked up our literature library with plenty of copies of the novels to lend. Judging by the enthusiasm of our Year 8 students today, they won’t be spending much time on the shelves. Thanks for the inspiration, Priti!”