From boy wizards to bear hunts, a Nailsworth-based charity bringing the much-needed power of stories to children in hospitals and schools across the UK went into overdrive this week: featuring on Radio 2 as part of this year’s BBC Children in Need appeal and hosting national treasure Michael Rosen at an online event for some 115,000 school children in more than 1,000 schools.
Ezekiel’s story has featured across Radio 2 this week, with the eight-year-old also chatting live to Zoe Ball on Wednesday morning (17 November) about how the charity’s books and storytellers have brightened his numerous stays in hospital. While on Thursday (18 November), the charity broadcast an online event with Michael Rosen who answered questions and talked about his latest book, Sticky McStickstick.
Read for Good has motivated millions of children since 1984 to read for fun through its sponsored Readathon in schools, with Roald Dahl being a former chair. Its bright-orange mobile bookcases operate in all 30 of the UK’s major children’s hospitals, with brand new books supplied every six weeks.
Chief executive at Read for Good, Justine Daniels said: “We all know the power of a good story, but in hospital – for children like Ezekiel – this becomes a super power. Books and stories provide a much-needed escape out to the wider world when you’re in hospital, but we also believe that the power of reading should be urgently harnessed in schools across the UK as we begin to understand the impact of the pandemic on our children’s wellbeing and education. The aim of our event with Michael Rosen this week is simply to help busy schools carve out time to celebrate, inspire and motivate children to keep reading.”
The former children’s laureate, poet and author of some 150 books, Michael Rosen said: “I understand that Read for Good’s hospital bookcases all bear an old quote of mine, which said:‘if you read, the world is yours’ I think I’m even more right now! Creating space and a supply of books that will hook children into worlds and possibilities is important work that Read for Good delivers. Kids reading as a choice – not a chore – will change their world and ours.”
Read for Good is entirely funded by donations including from schools who run its Readathon and trusts like Children in Need. To donate visit readforgood.org/donate
For more information visit www.readforgood.org