Students booking time for new magazines at the school library

A visit to the school library has become far more interesting for one group of students, with the introduction of some inspiring new reading material.

After learning of recent research that shows boys are often reluctant readers, South Kesteven district councillor Ashley Baxter allocated £250 of his Ward Member Grant budget to help improve literacy among children in The Deepings. 

The Deepings School will not only get a subscription to six fascinating magazines for a whole year - but the school library will also receive a box of comics each month. 

Cllr Baxter, who represents the Market and West Deeping Ward, said: "When I was growing up, I remember reading books and comics all the time. 

"I realise now that they improved my reading skills, improved my general knowledge and sparked my imagination. Nowadays, with the distractions of computer games, social media and on-demand television, our children - especially boys - are spending much less time reading. 

"If we encourage our children to improve their reading, everyone benefits. Obviously reading skills are necessary for passing exams and finding a job but, more importantly, reading broadens the mind and enables us to better understand culture, ideas and people." 

Experts agree that boys of every age typically read less thoroughly than girls, whatever it is they are reading, taking less time to process the words, and skipping chunks of text. Research shows that boys are less likely to open up a book and read it. Magazines are less intimidating and often have as many words in as books, as well as covering a variety of thought-provoking topics. 

The school expects the magazine project will promote reading among all pupils. 

School librarian Kathryn Wallis said: "This grant has enabled us to subscribe to a schools magazine package for a year, which gives us six publications and a free box of comics every month. They include 4-4-2, National Geographic and BBC Space magazines, and there are plenty of others available if we wish to make a change. 

"We're hoping the youngsters will enjoy these and be encouraged to keep reading." 

Pic caption: The Deepings School librarian Kathryn Wallis with Cllr Ashley Baxter and some of the Year 7 English class. 

Cllr Baxter school reading grant

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