Val Dewhurst, the librarian at QEGS, sent me this article:
Angela Yates and Emma Hopkins, librarians at Swanshurst School Library, sent me this fantastic story about the achievement of two of their Year 8 pupils.
“We have been running four C&G shadowing groups in our school library during lunchtimes each week throughout the duration of the shadowing scheme, with almost 80 students involved. We celebrated the official awards last Monday with our own lunchtime award ceremony for group members, rewarding achievements such as best review, video review and picture.
This year as part of the shadowing scheme students entered a national creative writing competition organised by Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society Ltd (ALCS) on the theme ‘what reading means to me’. One of our students, Aleena Ali in Year 8, was one of three national prize winners.
Aleena’s reward of a box of books was presented to her at our award ceremony by our head teacher. Aleena’s work is now on the ALCS website and will be published by ALCS News next month.
At the national C&G awards ceremony, in her acceptance speech for ‘Buffalo Soldier’ Tanya Landman quoted at length from a review posted on the shadowing website by Firoza Ahmed, also in Year 8 at our school.
With well over 11000 reviews on the website, it was an outstanding achievement for Firoza to be noticed in this way! Tanya Landman wrote a lovely letter to thank Firoza and is sending her a signed book.”
Both Firoza and Aleena are in the same shadowing group and English class at Swanshurst School in Birmingham. Aleena’s prizewinning article can be read here. Swanshurst’s Carnegie Shadowing page is here, and their Greenaway page is here. What an inspiration, and how proud the school must be of these two girls!
LitPick is a site I only found about recently, and it is one I really like the look of. Although the site is based in the US, it is just as relevant to your keen readers in the UK, or any other country where students are happy to read books in English. I contacted the people who run the site, just to check that there were no hidden costs, and was reassured that it was completely free to use. Students can join to review books, which are then sent to them as eBooks if they live outside of the United States. Once a student submits a review, it is evaluated by one of their adult underwriters. Feedback on the writing is given, and once the review is approved, the student is able to choose the next title. Students can sign up to Litpick here. Students can earn points and badges for good reviews as well as the feedback, which is invaluable. If you wish to sign up a group of students instead and have an overview on what they write, that is also possible here. I have spent a little while looking at this and thinking about it, and can see no downside. Pupils get to read new books, and they are theirs to keep. Have a look – we all have keen readers who would love to be the first to get their hands on a book! And, just to make clear, as with everything I post, I do not get any financial reward for posting this. Enjoy!