Minister says reading plan could be just the ticket
23 Feb 2012
Threats to close libraries due to public spending cuts have provoked storms of protest and led to impassioned pleas to protect the services from writers including Zadie Smith and Alan Bennett.
Their campaigns have now received a government-backed boost: schools could be asked to give all pupils membership to their local libraries under plans being considered by schools minister Nick Gibb to encourage children to read more.
Mr Gibb said that the idea, put to him by children's author and poet Michael Rosen, was intriguing and "something I am taking very seriously".
Speaking at Stockwell Park High School in south London, Mr Gibb said that there were still "shadows of Dickens' world in our own", with children from the poorest communities facing more literacy problems than others.
"One could argue that young people have many competing demands on their time, with the attractions of social media, TV, games consoles and smartphones", Mr Gibb said. "But it is gravely concerning to see this country's young people falling out of love with reading".
He added that reading for half an hour a day is equivalent to a year's schooling by the age of 15.
Read the full story at TES.
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