The Child at a Reading Crossroads


Regular readers of this blog will know that in our library we use a fantastic system of tracking our students to show the impact we have on reading within the school.

The tracking model is about individuals and about understanding where they have come from. What barriers exist that stop them from being a success in reading then overcoming these barriers to make as many successful readers as possible.

The knock on effects of such a system also means that we can prove the impact we have on reading within the school, how we teach the weakest how to read and improvements in reading students have through reading for pleasure. This for a library and a school is really important as it is a justification as to why so much time is and should be spend on getting young people to see the pleasure in reading.

A big part of this process is engaging young people into reading. Especially young people that may be disengaged or disillusioned with reading. In our school we come across a number of students like this across all years and the reason for each can be as different as A and Z. But it is this reason that is the key to turning that non-reader into someone who willing accesses and enjoys reading.

So this is our first port of call, our beginning. Discovering what it is that is stopping that young person from reading is vital in then being able to do something about it. If you don’t find and solve the route of the problem then you’ll never change the behaviour and make a difference, you’ll only ever paper over the cracks. These students can be seen as at somewhat of a crossroads and it is worth knowing their past, in fact it is vital in knowing this to set them on the right path for the future.

There is a reason why they are not a reader. It may be that they have had a bad experience of reading in the past, it may that they have not had a positive reading role model, or that their family does not read. It could that they have poor literacy and this hampers them in becoming a reader or even that they don’t have the confidence or the opportunity to read. It’s also important to remember that the type of student that has these potential ‘reading road blocks’ isn’t necessarily a weak reader. It could just as easily be a proficient reader who doesn’t read. Again it’s important to work out why this is the case. Maybe they have also had a bad experience of reading or something else is affecting their desire to read and this might be case for someone that actually wants to read but again doesn’t. They might not have the time to do so, the opportunity to continue to be a reader. Other priorities may have overtaken their reading.

Whatever it is that is causing this lack of reading needs to be addressed if the behaviour is to change and success is to be achieved. Young people are therefore always the reader at a crossroads and it is our job to know this, understand the reason and to help redress the situation so that our students can all take the path towards reading for pleasure.



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