One county one book
One County, One Book - Staffordshire Schools' Library Service
The main aims of the project were to:
1. inspire and enthuse people in their reading and encourage people to talk about reading
2. encourage adults and children to read together
3. build a sense of community through shared experience
4. use reading as a way of involving parents and the wider community in the life of the school
5. provide an opportunity for partnership working
6. raise the profile of all three partners
7. encourage visits to libraries
Background to the project
One County, One Book was a reader development project introduced to get as many people as possible reading and discussing the same book at the same time. Based on the American model, more recently in the UK in cities such as Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol have used this model to inspire everyone in the city; school children, teachers, parents, whole communities to read the same book at the same time. The Staffordshire model involved local schools (years 5, 6, 7 and 8 pupils), local libraries and the School Improvement Division. Staffordshire’s project was funded by the SLS and Primary Strategy money (SID).
Staffordshire’s project was based on the stunning first novel in Michelle Pavers’ ‘Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’. ‘Wolf Brother’ was selected because not only was it a well-written book with strong plot and characterisation elements but it was also felt that it would;
- have the most appeal to pupils
- have the most appeal for adult readers
- have the widest cross-curricular potential
- have the most ‘boy appeal’
- would bring new authors/books to the fore in schools
The project was timed to avoid busy times in schools and libraries such as SATs and Family Learning Month etc and so the public-facing activities took place between January and March 2008.
What happened when
Date: March 2006 – January 2007 Location: SLS, Stafford Activity: Initial planning, identification of and briefing of potential partners. The book was selected with SID Literacy Advisors and publisher / author support was sought, and launch events planned. A meeting was held to solicit interest from SID, LIS and colleagues from Family Learning. Pilot schools were identified and asked to produce resources which could then be shared with all schools taking part.
Date: January 2007- January 2008 Location: Christ Church and Ryecroft Middle Schools Activity: Initial planning in the pilot schools leading to the creation of a range of activities and resources including poetry, dramatic re-enactments, jewellery and a varied selection of schemes of work and lesson ideas covering all areas of the curriculum.
Date: January 2007- Spring 2008 Location: SID, Stafford; Birches Valley Education Centre, Cannock Chase & SLS Stafford Activity: Planning and delivery by the Art and Gifted & Talented Advisors for a joint project involving 8 schools in the Rugeley area of the County. This strand of the project included a two day art experience on Cannock Chase providing opportunities for systematic enrichment, extension and exploration for talented and interested artists. Licence obtained by SLS from the Publishers for use of extracts / book cover.
Date: January 2008 – March 2008 Location: Stafford, Tamworth and Stone and schools around the county Activity: Official launch events with Michelle Paver and displays / work in schools and libraries throughout this term.
Key achievements of the project
- Contributed towards the development of young people as enthusiastic readers
- Established strong partnerships that will continue after NYR has concluded
- Raised the profile of SLS and LIS in SID
- 1,500 copies of ‘Wolf Brother’ purchased by participating schools
- 430 pupils and staff attended the launch events
- In Burton District the project attracted: 284 additional visitors to libraries, 20 new members and generated 230 book issues
- In Tamworth District the project impacted on visits: +5.56% in February 2008 and children’s issues +7.10% in February 2008 in comparison to the same time period in 2007
For more information
Please visit the Staffordshire Schools' Library Service website at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/sls or contact Lisa Westmorland, SLS Development Manager at email@example.com