Last week, the winners of the 2019 Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards, in association with The Open University and the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) were announced at a conference hosted by the OU.
Launched in 2017 following extensive research into reading for pleasure by the OU, Egmont and UKLA, the awards aim to demonstrate the positive impact that reading for pleasure can have on all aspects of a child’s life. With curriculum pressures and an emphasis on testing, limited time and space is dedicated to books which can have a direct knock-on effect on children’s development as readers. By recognising and celebrating teachers who are currently putting reading for pleasure at the heart of their classrooms, it is hoped that the award will serve to inspire others to use similar practises in the future.
The award is endorsed by over 20 organisations, including The Reading Agency, The Publishers Association and the School Library Association. Final submissions were judged by a panel of experts including Professor Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education Literacy at the OU; Andy Stanton, bestselling children’s author; David Reedy, General Secretary at UKLA; Joy Court, Chair for CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards; Fiona Evans from the National Literacy Trust; Cally Poplak, Managing Director at Egmont Publishing and Alison David, Consumer Insight Director at Egmont Publishing.
Professor Teresa Cremin commented:
“We know that teachers are under immense pressure to deliver results, and can find it challenging to make time within the curriculum for fostering reading for pleasure. But the social, emotional and cognitive benefits of reading for pleasure is unquestionable. Our winners are clearly building reciprocal reading communities and documenting the impact of these within and beyond the classroom. We are delighted to be able to recognise this publicly through the award.”
Experienced Teacher Award – Sadie Phillips, Canary Wharf College, London
Early Career Teacher Award – Marianne Mitchell, Christ Church C of E Primary, Hertfordshire
Each category winner receives an individual award, Egmont books to the value of £250 for their school and 20 copies of Help Your Child Love Reading by Alison David.
Professor Teresa Cremin continues:
“It’s fabulous to see this new award grow from strength to strength. It’s evidence that the profession are developing research-informed practice, not merely engaging in ‘fun reading activities’ but developing an underpinning understanding of reading as social and relational.”
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Studying Education Childhood & Youth Studies at the OU
Professor Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education Literacy at The Open University