Encouraging kids to read for fun is our core mission – and we are never short of ideas about how to encourage it! You might have noticed that in the latest issue of Storytime, we have introduced a new section, the story club!
We believe that getting kids together to share tales with their friends is a brilliant way to build their love of reading and every month we will bring ideas to your club and hope to inspire everyone and every school to start one.
What is a story club?
A Story Club is like a book club (where a group of people get together to discuss a book they are all reading). However, a Story Club can be lighter and easier to early readers. Also, it can be more varied or more frequent and it is often possible for the members to read together during a session, as stories are shorter than books!
Why is it good for kids to join a story club?
- It gets everyone reading! Fostering a love of reading is key to a child’s development, and research indicates that this has beneficial effects on their education. As a bonus, it opens them up to a world of fun and fascinating tales! Being a member of a club with their friends can motivate kids to read so they can share the story club experience…
- It encourages curiosity! We provide sheets of questions and activities designed to encourage kids to discuss the things they have read and share ideas. Asking questions is the key to learning more about the world! They can also take on board ideas and perspectives from other members of the club.
- It’s a wonderful way of discovering new stories! Members of the club can choose different stories to share with the group. Everybody has different tastes, so kids can discover new and interesting stories in this way. For example, a lover of sports stories might find that they also enjoy fairy tales or sci-fi adventures too…
- It creates a fun and safe social space! Meetings give children a chance to talk with others and communicate ideas. Shy kids get a chance to speak about stories they like, which will build their social confidence and communication skills.
Setting Up a Story Club
We have had many requests for book club tips before, so we hope we’ve made teachers, carers, parents, and grandparents interested in setting up a story club for their kids! We will be providing guidance, downloadables and activities in future issues of Storytime. Look out for them every month – but here are some key things that you might want to think about when setting up a reading club.
- Where should they meet? Would it be convenient for them to meet at somebody’s house? Could they use a classroom or a space in the school library?
- How often should they meet? Think about your group! Would it be better for them to meet every week, or would once a fortnight give more flexibility?
- What stories should they read? We would encourage the members of a club to vote on which stories they will read, but it can be useful to set up a ‘shortlist’ for them to pick from. This could include tales that are relevant to the curriculum students are on.
- How long the will the sessions be? What is the best time to get them together? At the weekend? After school? During the lunch break? Make sure it’s easy and accessible to everyone to attend and they do not need to be too long either.
- What should they look forward to? Takeaways are great things from the club – perhaps they will learn to interpret stories. Some clubs are all about crafts and activities, or new themes the group would like to discuss. And others might want to have a message or learning with every tale. You can choose the purpose of the sessions and make sure the readers make the most of the story. One thing is for certain – stories we fall in love with tend to stay with us forever.
We hope you’re as enthusiastic about story clubs as we are! If you have been with us until this very last line, we are sure you are also full of ideas for your club! Share with us and tag @storytimemag if you start something that you would like us to share and repost. We would love to see what stories you are reading, and we look forward to many more story lovers in our community! Happy reading, all!