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Impact of the Project

The project has enabled 2,615 reception to year 11 children and young people from 12 primary and secondary schools to experience the magic of meeting an author and discover the joy of reading for pleasure. Although the focus of these visits was not about book sales, schools were encouraged to have copies of the author's books available for sale at the events in case the children were inspired by the author visit and wanted to buy one and get it personally signed. In fact, over the course of the project 396 books were sold. In addition, schools reported that following the author visit, library loans and reservations for their books increased "We already had some copies of Alex's books, but have now bought more copies, 46 are on loan and we still have a long waiting list"

There were some key learning points from the project – the main one being that schools need longer to plan, organise and deliver an author event, particularly when they need to get other teaching staff involved or the complexities of getting children from other schools to participate as well. Thus, although the project began in December 2016, the majority of events did not take place until the autumn term 2017. Because of the pressure within schools, it can also take quite a lot of effort to get them to respond to information requests and complete evaluation forms, so this required a lot of chasing by Authors Aloud UK

As feedback from schools show, the project has been very successful, with schools organising their events in very different ways in order that it best met the needs of the students in their school. Sue and Annie were able to each visit one school to see the author in action and the response of the young people to it. We were able to see for ourselves just how much impact it had on the students. The project again demonstrates the value and impact of working with school librarians for the planning, organisation and delivery of the events. They were a key part of ensuring that the event was well organised, preparation before the event was undertaken, Senior Leadership teams were informed, teaching staff were engaged and follow up work with students and teachers was done.

Young Peoples Comments

The most important judges of the impact of these author visits should be the young people who experienced them. Without exception, the evaluation comments sent in by the schools, reflect an immensely positive re-action and this is also clearly demonstrated in the video produced by Loxford school. http://www.loxford.net/the-author-alex-wheatle-visits-loxford/ These are just a small selection of the comments from the young people when asked what they had liked the most about meeting the author who visited their school