‘Reading is an essential skill for leading a happy, healthy and full life’
National Literacy Trust
The Heart of Hawick Children's Book Award was set up to get local kids reading for fun.
We believe that if you enjoy books from an early age, not only do you have access to an exciting world of stories, characters and ideas - you also become more confident, intelligent and compassionate!
This isn't just a well-meaning aspiration - it's borne out by research from the National Literacy Trust, which suggests reading actually helps to rewire the brain. Children reading about the lives of others through stories learn to be more empathetic and adaptable. Reading also improves access to opportunities in life, and mastering such an important skill early on boosts children's self-esteem, and lays the foundations for all other school subjects.
The evaluation of the first two years of our project suggests that the award has helped some children to read a whole book for the first time, take up library membership and discover the power of emotions in books.
By bringing authors to read in schools, we also hope children will learn to see books as something exciting and alive.
The new Picture Book Award for preschools is aimed at getting children started young, and involving parents and carers in reading with their children.
'My son brought home one of the books shortlisted for the award and, as it had a football theme to it, started to read it, then he was hooked. He loved the story and managed to read two other books from the shortlist. He also chooses to look at books in shops now and has saved up so he can buy the next in the series of 'Kick Off', which was his favourite book.'
'Two of my children are great readers but one is more reluctant - very good at starting books but leaving them unfinished. With the book award, he knew he wasn't allowed to vote until he'd read all five books, and that seemed to spur him on (there was definititely a competitive edge - he wanted to be the first P5 to finish!). Since then, he has taken more of an interest in the bookshelves at home, and is trying new things, too.'