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WCA Literacy Project

At the beginning of his year in October 2016, Past Master Matthew Bastone indicated that he was keen to support literacy and had discussed some ideas with the Past Mistress, Sue. The WCA Trust invited the Mistress to submit a proposal and in late 2016, this was accepted. The proposal was to support literacy development and the encouragement of children's reading for pleasure in London schools. The WCA Trust awarded £5000 to sponsor a number of author/ illustrator / poet / storyteller visits for disadvantaged pupils in London schools, throughout 2017.

The overall aim of the project was to enable children in disadvantaged schools in London to have the opportunity to meet and interact with children's authors, to promote reading for pleasure and to acknowledge the role and value of the school library / librarian in supporting and developing reading for pleasure in schools.

This was organised through Authors Aloud UK (www.authorsalouduk.co.uk) a nationwide agency in this field.

After Common Hall on 24th April 2018, Authors Aloud gave a short presentation about the London Schools Literacy Project and about the WCA Trust's sponsorship of the £500 prize for the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year, which was very well received by the members present. We are delighted that the Trust has committed to supporting the Literacy Project for £5000 per annum for the next three years.

Extracts from the Evaluation Report of the Literacy Project follow but can be summed up by the comments of three of the school librarians involved:

"In these days of ever decreasing school budgets, this type of sponsorship offers a lifeline for many schools as a powerful way to reach so many children and support them on their reading journey"

"We could not have afforded to buy in these sessions from Alex, however, they changed the whole atmosphere in much of the school for the days before and after the visit as well as the visit itself – lots of excitement and then genuine pupil appreciation of Alex as a writer and a person"

"Please thank the WCA Trust – this funding has helped us to achieve so much"

The Trust continues to support this initiative into 2018.

Selection of Schools

A project application form was developed for schools who wished to be considered for an author visit to complete. A set of criteria for assessing the applications was also drawn up and schools needed to demonstrate how they met these criteria in their application form.

The criteria were:

The schools selected to receive an author visit as part of the project were: