Regular readers may have noticed an addition to the side bar of Poetry Roundabout – wonderful Philip Ardagh has been appointed Ambassador of the School Libraries Group. School libraries are ESSENTIAL, so I am thrilled to be able to display this image to say so.
Three in ten children in the UK do not own a book. Being able to read is the foundation of all eduction – every subject relies on this ability.
But it’s not just about being the basis for basic or academic learning – neuroscientists have found that reading fiction (and poetry!) lights up the same areas in the brain that real life does. Wait, what? Yes! Reading can give your child the benefit of experience they might never get in any other way. Not only are they receiving information about other places to live and ways of living, other ways of looking at life, facts about a myriad of subjects which may spark an interest in areas you could not have predicted, it places them literally into another person’s shoes, and thus fosters empathy.
Being able to understand how another person is feeling and react appropriately gives you the ability to lead a happy and successful life at work and home. Access to a library is the very best thing we can do for our children and their futures. And it’s achievable.
So let’s make sure it happens.