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A New Chapter – Liverpool Hope University and The Reader Organisation

Written by Dave Cookson, 17th October 2011

On 3rd October The Reader Organisation started what is sure to be a thrilling and innovative relationship with Liverpool Hope University.

Charlotte Weber and I are now Readers-in-Residence, working closely with the Faculty of Education in creating a vibrant atmosphere revolving around reading across campus. Over the year we will be delivering weekly reading groups to first year students from the Faculty, sparking a level of enthusiasm towards the value of reading that will stay with them throughout their careers in education and their lives as a whole.

The project may still be in its embryonic stages but we are already brimming with ideas about how we can promote shared reading.

In partnership with the Faculty of Education we are setting up a Read Aloud Society as part of students' course enrichment, we have already held a reading group in the Sheppard-Worlock Library, arranged for the library to stock The Reader Organisation's publications, presented our vision to over 500 students across two lectures (of course, we finished with a poem!) and we are making plans for a significant part of Our Read 2012 to be based at Hope, with students playing a vital role in the delivery of one of The Reader Organisation's biggest and most exciting projects.

The campus is a brilliant place to be, there are so many people here we can inspire to become social and active readers who go on to deliver a Reading Revolution to even more people. There is the added bonus of both Charlotte and I being fans of Paradise Lost working in the EDEN Building... which has a garden... with a bench seating two children reading Tarzan. The words and drawings are actually engraved onto the book!

Liverpool Hope University takes a holistic approach to student development and this is something we are looking to be a major part of. Our experience of Get Into Reading proves sitting down with other people and reading a good poem, novel or short story can have an amazing impact on the individual and a community. After students and staff have experienced the wonderful effects of shared reading aloud, we hope they can make the university an even more dynamic place to study and work.

The benefits of our presence should not only be felt within Hope, we would like students to engage with schools, community centres and care homes in bringing enjoyable shared reading experiences to as many people as possible. It will be rewarding for us as an organisation if we extend students' vocational activity surrounding the university, as we use reading as the means to a harmonious relationship between students and the local community.

This is an outstanding opportunity for Liverpool Hope University and its students to set themselves apart from others, whilst The Reader Organisation engages with hundreds of Education students who will one day go on to play a huge role in the development of thousands of youngsters. It is a privilege for us to be able to spread our message to so many people, and to ensure that the Reading Revolution continues to grow.

A Dave's eye view of the book!

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