Working with SLiCE we collaborated on a project to encourage reluctant readers to visit the library and discover reading for pleasure. The project was based in Brierfield Library with children from Lomeshaye Primary School, where English is an additional language and who were known ‘reluctant readers’.
How did Dance overcome their barriers?
Over the course of the project it became apparent that involvement in creating dance led the children to change their attitude towards reading. At the beginning of the project, children said, ‘I’m feeling worried…’, ‘I’m scared…I don’t like dancing’ and in terms of reading it was common to hear that the children didn’t enjoy reading and thought it too challenging or boring. During weekly visits to the library, the children explored and developed their changing relationship with reading by sharing their insights of characters through creative movement. Ellie Payne, Project Lead and Teacher at Lomeshaye Primary School told us “One child, very disengaged with reading and lacking parental support at home, announced just after half term, ‘I came to the library in the holiday just because of this project.’” The children opened up through dance to the new worlds and possibilities that reading offered with the library to support their journey. One Year 4 pupil grew in confidence and created a solo piece after discovering a favourite book, “I read my book when I go to special places … it makes your mind joyful.”
The project has proven hugely successful; increasing visitors to the library, loaning patterns and promoting community inclusion. By working together, Brierfield Library, Lomeshaye Primary School and Ludus Dance have improved community inclusion and developed a sense of pride for the town. Melissa Johns, a Library Assistant explained “From shy and retiring on the first day and standing in the very back corner of the library, the children have progressed quickly into shining stars each willing to dance and read their favourite book characters. The project has been a huge success in making communities feel included and the support of Libraries, Ludus Dance and Lomeshaye show that by working together we can achieve a sense of pride and admiration for the place we all live in. Well done to all who made this happen and we look forward to partnering again for more exciting events in the future.”
If you want to know more about the project you can view the film we have made and get in touch with us. We’d love to talk more about it and can deliver this, or a similar project in many settings.