Author Guy Bass entertained 121 Chatterbooks Club children at a special event at the Professional Development Centre today (Tuesday 2nd February) to celebrate the DfE-funded Chatterbooks Project that has been running in 18 schools in Tower Hamlets and 200 schools nationwide since November last year.
He had the children (and adults) in fits of laughter as he described his childhood obsession with food, introduced his characters, Stitch Head, Creature and Arabella and engaged audience participation with “mmmm!”, “Yuk”, “Eurgh” and “Burp” as he sang Creature’s hunger song from one of his Stitch Head books “The Pirate’s Eye”
The aim of the Chatterbooks Project is to engage children in reading for pleasure by introducing them to a wide range of children’s books on a variety of themes and encouraging them to talk about them.
As participants in the Chatterbooks project, each school received training in running a book club for at least two teachers or librarians, a leader’s handbook, welcome packs for the children, a scrapbook to record the club’s activities week by week and selections of books for the children to read from the Schools Library Service. Schools are able to download free ideas packs from the Reading Agency website. The project sought to target lower-achieving pupils and began with an online survey for each child to complete that asked questions about reading habits. A post-survey will be carried out a the end of the ten-week programme.
Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service is planning to offer the chatterbooks package to other schools in the Borough in 2016/17.