We are delighted that the author Gareth Baker will be working with us over the next year as our Patron of Reading. He will be visiting school each term and working with each class.
Dear Parents/Carers of the children at Sturton by Stow Primary School,
My name is Gareth Baker, and I am very fortunate to be a children’s author. I am also very proud to announce that I will be your school’s Patron of Reading from now until 2022. Who exactly am I and what is this? When you’re sitting comfortably, I’ll begin.
Who is Gareth?
I have been writing children’s books for the last eight years and working with schools to promote a love of reading for the last five. I have written a range of books for different age groups and interests, including a picture book, but most of my stories are adventures and reflect the thing I love as well as the skills and values that I think are crucial to a happy, productive life. Before becoming a writer, I was a primary school teacher for almost twenty years. In short, I have worked with children my whole life, and now I have my dream job and I love to bring that energy and passion to schools and pass it on to everyone, children, teachers and hopefully yourselves, too.
So, what is a Patron of Reading (PoR)?
Put simply it is an author, illustrator, poet or storyteller who partners up with a school to promote reading for pleasure, primarily with the children, but across the whole school community.
One of the key strengths of the PoR initiative is that, while it has key aims and objectives, it is not government-led, and therefore has no hidden agenda. This means your school and I can pursue it in a way that suits the needs of your children.
What will Gareth do in school?
Over the last five years, I have carried out a wide range of motivational activities. These have included a range of enrichment activities, including drama, art, the use of music, and dance. I have also created books with children’s work in with one school to inspire writing and help the PTA raise funds. Whatever we do when I come to visit, it will always start with a book, not just my own, but the latest stories by the best writers. I will also donate a copy of any books that I talk about in school. In the past I have also worked with parents and carers.
Why is reading so important?
I believe that learning to read is the single most important life skill a child will ever learn. It is not as simple as being able to read an advert for a job, an important letter or email, reading to learn a new skill or information, or even reading for pleasure. The reasons why it’s so crucial are far deeper, and some may not become apparent until later in life. Reading reduces stress, improves memory, focus and concentration, empathy, and all-around well-being and mental health.
The fact is, the more you read, the more opportunities open up to you. I want children to have the best possible start in life, and I believe that along with support, nurture and challenge, developing a life-long love of reading is at the very core of it.
Stay safe, keep reading and hope to meet you soon,
How to contact Gareth:
Website - gareth-baker.com
Twitter - @GarethBakerPoR
Instagram - @garethbakerpor
Facebook - GarethBakerPor