It is UN World Book and Copyright Day today and one of our students on the BA Hons in Primary Education course, Chloe-Grace Emslie, writes about her love of books and how she has been inspired by what she’s doing in her placement to get children reading:

“Reading has always been a huge passion in my life, ever since I could read, I have loved books. I used to drive my parents mad with the amount of the books I’d get through! No sooner had I been given a new one I’d have finished it in a few days. I’m still the same now, my house is like a library, books in piles all over the place and my bookshelf on the verge of collapse. I love encouraging others to read too, I always have a book recommendation to hand! When I began training as a student teacher, I was introduced to a wonderful lecturer who read us a story at the start of every lecture and seminar. She really inspired me to make sure that I took my passion for literacy and reading and made it a key element in my teaching. I was certain that if there was anything I wanted to inspire my class to do, it was to enjoy reading and engage with all the books they can.

When starting my placement, I was made aware of the fact that children reading for pleasure has been declining and that the school are trying hard to change that. This resonated with me so much and I became determined to incorporate reading as much as I could in my classroom. My placement teacher is a wonderfully like-minded person when it comes to reading. She inspires the class with books and reads to them at every opportunity she gets; it is amazing to see how excited the children get about reading stories and they always ask to be read to. I was very lucky to have parents who read to me and could provide me with lots of books but of course that is unfortunately not always the case. The thought of a child never being read to is unimaginable to me, so I want to make sure that I always read a story to my class at every opportunity that I get, just as my wonderful placement teacher does. That way I feel that all of my class have an equal chance to enjoy reading.

Since beginning my placement, I have seen the children flourish in their literacy and reading skills. Many of them write their own fantastic stories and they have such pride and excitement about their work it is so rewarding to see. To me, this goes to show how an inspiring teacher can really make reading and literacy a magical experience for children.

Reading to children and encouraging them to appreciate and enjoy it from a young age is so important. It creates worlds for them where anything is possible and also is an important way of bonding with them. I have many memories of books and reading with my family, my grandmother and I especially always read together, and she was always gifting me with wonderful books that I still have and treasure to this day. Reading provides children with so much, not just important academic skills but also the ability to escape and enjoy time to themselves with a good book. I will always aim to inspire reading in any way that I can, and I hope that others will make that their mission too.”

– Chloe Grace Emslie, First Year Student, BA (Hons) Primary Education