Consider how key arguments are evidenced in the varied activities incorporated in the Read Like a Girl project. Identify one that you could leverage in your school or library to promote a love of reading.
The Read Like a Girl project has included events such as an International Women’s Day Breakfast with keynote address from an author, book launches, Literacy Week festivals, Read Like a Girl with your Dad events, and a writer’s conference. The Read Like a Girl founders themselves note that their primary aim was to promote reading for enjoyment (and that they are well and truly fulfilling that aim).
On a deeper level, though, there are important key concepts being met by each of these activities. A keynote address at an International Women’s Day Breakfast provides students with the opportunity to see women who value reading and academic success, to see in themselves the potential that lifelong literacy skills create. Book launches where students have the chance to meet the author and have their book signed allow for personal connections to the literature to be forged, and an extra incentive to read the book. Literacy Week festivals, as well as a fantastic opportunity to wear a book themed costume, open the dialogue regarding books and literature; opportunities to discuss what one has read that year are not often hot topics around the picnic table at lunch. Read Like a Girl with your Dad invites in a parental aspect, and a nod to positive role models encouraging recreational reading outside of school. A writer’s conference feeds the idea that strong writers are strong readers, but also allows for exploration of genre by students, where they may discover new titles in their preferred genre.
Most of all, what I can ascertain the Read Like a Girl program does, is what most of us as TLs wish to see associated with our libraries: “enabling students to come into contact with books and offer them the experience of reading as a pleasurable activity” (La Marca, 2004, p.182; as cited in Stower & Waring, 2018).
While I am not currently teaching or teacher librarian-ing at a school, the program I felt most excited about was the Read Like a Girl with your Dad event. While I would probably re-brand it to something like Read Like a Champion with your Significant Adult (not least of all due to intellectual property copyright and to foster more inclusivity), this is the event that I feel would have the greatest impact on struggling or reluctant readers that, as a TL, I would be trying to encourage to increase their recreational reading frequency. By inviting a significant other to partake in the reading for pleasure, students are able to continue the dialogue of the literature long after they finish reading, and I will never say no to an excuse for a pizza party.
Stower, H. & Waring, P. (2018, July 16). Read like a girl: Establishing a vibrant community of passionate readers. In Alliance of Girls Schools Australia. Retrieved from https://www.agsa.org.au/news/read-like-a-girl-establishing-a-vibrant-community-of-passionate-readers/