This week’s insight comes from GIR assistant manager Sophie Povey, and her experience of reading with looked after children.
I had a wonderful one to one session with one of the girls on the Looked After Children’s ‘Reading For Pleasure’ project last night. M is a very bright and enthusiastic reader, but can struggle to concentrate for long periods of time, and so our sessions are often broken up by M stopping to tell me her news from the week, singing me a song, or occasionally, teaching me the latest dance she has learnt in the playground. However, since we’ve started reading David Almond’s beautiful novel, My Dad’s a Birdman, there has been a real change in how M has settled into the session, and as I arrived yesterday, M eagerly got the book out of my bag to ‘see where we’re up to’. M likes to read the book in turns, like a script, and often chooses to read the dialogue of the little girl in the story, Lizzie; ‘she’s a toughie isn’t she, like me!’ Reading for the full hour, M seemed completely lost in the book, telling me, ‘it’s amazing this book; imagine if we had wings, we could travel anywhere we wanted to and could even fly to school.’ M then asked to keep hold of the book until next week so that she could carry on reading it whilst off for half term, but told me as I left, ‘don’t worry, I’m going to read it like we do, stopping to think about it. I might even read it to my teddy!’ M is also coming along to the ‘Our Read’ launch event on Thursday and is incredibly excited at the prospect of seeing London for the first time and meeting Frank Cottrell Boyce. She’s been reading Millions before bed according to her carer, and has even bought a special outfit for the day.