The Reading Cure–Five Day Residential Course

Sunday 21st – Friday 26th September 2008, Burton Manor, Cheshire

The Reader Organisation would like to announce its first five day intensive residential
for people who want to become accredited Get Into Reading practitioners.

We are looking for candidates who are passionate about the transformative power of books and reading, who are able to demonstrate a wide interest in and knowledge of classic literature, including poetry, or who can demonstrate a powerful willingness to develop such knowledge.

Over the five days all course members will participate in at least ten reading group sessions, as well as meeting some of our reading group members, volunteers and project staff and talking to them about what makes GIR work for them.

In addition, you will be asked to read masses of new stuff and to write logs and prepare sessions each evening. There will be films to watch (for book-of-the-film-group sessions) and play-reading to be done in the evenings. (And there’s a village pub not too far away!)

Go here for full details and to download an application form.

Go here to read ‘The Reading Cure’ by Blake Morrison.

5 thoughts on “The Reading Cure–Five Day Residential Course”

  1. Forgive me but once again the cost of this (£1000!) is prohibitive and potentially seriously exclusive: though you are sure to be oversubscribed, how many potentially excellent ‘practitioners’ will simply be unable to meet the cost at a possible loss to the organisation of talented persons who are simply not able to meet the fee? (Offering one reduced place hardly makes up for this.) If the ‘ethos’ of the organisation is to be truly inclusive, costs need to be reduced, especially when people are struggling to make ends meet.

    There are also important issues regarding the apparent need for such ‘training’ – to the best of my knowledge one has been able to ‘volunteer’ for this work for some time and whilst those in charge are experienced teachers they only became ‘experts’ in this particular field by doing the job, didn’t they? I do not in any way wish to diminish the excellence of the team or its motivation but its basis – i.e. reading with/to those with health problems – has been carried out by volunteers for many, many years. Yes, you are now identifying clinical evidence for the benefits of this which may be useful both now and in the future but the actual ‘work’, if that is the word, has a close correlation to that done by caring individuals with no thought to the need for training or funding, for generations.

    I do genuinely feel that these points need to be addressed but fear that they will not be because somehow it has come to seem simply ‘wrong’ or ‘small-minded’ to criticise ‘The Reader Organisation’ in any way. Yet, only by being open to such criticism through truly open debate can these issues be addressed and it would be beneficial if such were to be made available to the general public. Sadly, any objections are always seen as negative but these are not meant to be so. I just feel that sometimes one can get so involved with a project that issues such as cost become overlooked or submerged in the quest for the ‘goal’.

    I am certain that the aim of this course is not to make a profit, so please do not think that I imagine this to be your object. I am equally sure that your ethos is unquestionably of the highest integrity but there are problems, I think, though I feel like ‘a voice in the wilderness’ because those who read this have an inevitable bias.

    You truly have my best wishes which are what motivated me to write; please take my thoughts in the positive way in which they are intended: as ‘food for thought’ not ‘poisoned arrows’!

  2. Firstly, just to be clear, The Reader Organisation is a non-profit organisation.

    Secondly, while it has always been the case that some carers read to the people they care for, they have done so with variable ability and skill. For professional service providers who need to be accountable to patients, their families, and to taxpayers, that is not acceptable. The Reader Organisation has years of experience in delivering such services and provides training courses like this one in order to share that experience. It’s true that it is possible to learn to drive on your own. Sometimes relatives and friends volunteer to help. But it’s quicker, safer, and more efficient to hire a well trained and motivated driving instructor.

    Finally, I leave comments open on these posts because I believe in open debate. However, it would be better, if you have objections to the way the organisation is run, to address them directly using the contact form at the top of the page. I will pass on the message to Jane who will no doubt respond. In a curious way it is more difficult to discuss this in public than it would be in private email. I am leaving this here for now, but I reserve the right to remove it because fighting in the street is undignified.

  3. One writes an ‘open letter’ in order to draw the attention of others to individual concerns which they may share; writing a letter to a newspaper, for example, would not be regarded as ‘fighting in the street’. Does one not have the right to free speech?

  4. >Does one not have the right to free speech?

    Of course you have the right to free speech, but as the editor of this blog I cannot allow immoderate speech, which is where your comments are heading. Blog comments, like newspaper letters pages, are of necessity moderated environments, even if they allow quite a lot of slack as we do here.


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