Engaging children in reading for pleasure: A better beginnings project linking libraries with primary schools
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
School of Education
The Hairytales of Heroboy programme was implemented in two communities, one metropolitan and one regional, in Western Australia in 2012. The programme, which targeted the reading skills of six- to nine-year-old children, aimed to encourage them to read for pleasure, to build their reading confidence and to improve their literacy skills. The programme was managed by librarians in each community who made contact with children in their local schools to encourage their participation. Teachers in the local schools were provided with Teachers' Guides of activities to use which supported the work of the librarians. In the metropolitan setting, eight school sites and 28 students participated in the programme evaluation. In the regional setting, two school sites and nine students participated. A qualitative approach to gathering and analysing data was used in an evaluation of the implementation of the programme. This paper provides an outline of the delivery model used in each community and a summary of the perspectives of librarians, teachers, students and their parents/carers. It also provides a discussion of the range of issues that had an impact on the implementation of the programme in each community. The evaluation found the programme was engaging for the participants through the provision of interesting materials, and could have had greater impact if stronger partnerships between the libraries and the schools had been developed.