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New Beginnings

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Emma-blogger400x370Hello Reading Force families! I'm Emma, I'm a Pad Brat and school librarian and I write a regular blog about reading and Forces life.

With a New Year comes thoughts of new starts and military children experience more new beginnings than most adults do in their entire lives. I have lived in over 17 houses and been to five different schools and I was one of the lucky ones! It's a complex lifestyle having to start over again every few months or years – from making new friends, to exploring a new area, learning a new school layout and having to find new afterschool activities (one place you're halfway through grade 5 tap, next you're taking up a new musical instrument because there's no nearby dance school but a great school orchestra). It's tough, but helps to make us more well-rounded people and adaptable to change and there are some great books out there to help with the transition: 

HungryCaterpillarThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

There is possibly no bigger transformation than turning your whole body into goo and emerging as a butterfly! But that’s precisely what caterpillars do all the time and this is a classic picture book about the lead up to that fabulous new beginning.


LemonySnicket The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

No matter how hard our new schools have been, I don't think anything can compare to the terror of living with Count Olaf!


SmileSmile by Raina Telgemeier
One for the over 13s here – Telgemeier's memoir about getting braces is very much about a new experience in life and the difficulties it brings. What I took from this book though, is that it doesn't matter what you go through – it matters who you choose to surround yourself with and knowing your worth.

I hope 2018 brings you all some fabulous new beginnings, and along with that some new books – from the library, from friends and family, and from Reading Force! Happy New Year everyone.




Ben Clubs & Reading Force: The Twits and Ben Elephant!

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benclub7 398x314Ben Club children in RAF High Wycombe were entertained by Storyteller extraordinaire, John Kirk, on 20th February. John told the story of The Twits, by Roald Dahl, in a hugely energetic performance which saw the children, aged 5 – 8, being squirted with water pistols, brushed with fake glue, doing monkey dances, and an awful lot of laughing! After the story, children and parents were treated to a tea party, and a VIP guest arrived – Ben Elephant, the RAF Benevolent Fund’s mascot.

This special event was to celebrate the launch of Reading Force activity which will be piloted in five Ben Clubs, starting off in High Wycombe. The other RAF stations taking part in this pilot during Spring 2018 are Cranwell, Marham, Scampton, and Digby.

Each Ben Club member chooses a book to keep and receives a Reading Force scrapbook. Over the following weeks, children will share their book at home with family, together or over Skype and Facetime, and complete their scrapbook. They will then receive a certificate to acknowledge their participation at a special Ben Club session. This project is generously supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity. The Fund exists to support current and former members of the RAF, their partners and dependants, whenever they need help.

Spending time together is vital for all families, none more so than RAF families who face the daily challenges of military life. This Reading Force project is an ideal way to foster those relationships and ensure children stay connected particularly while parents are deployed. The RAF Benevolent Fund has stood side by side with the RAF Family for almost 100 years, and continues to offer support to all members of the community, through projects like this and our Ben Clubs, part of the Airplay youth support scheme.Alison Wyman, Head of Welfare Programmes and Development, RAF Benevolent Fund

Reading Force is keen to reach more RAF families so they know the initiative is available to them and free to take part and the charity is thrilled to be teaming up with the RAF Benevolent Fund and their Ben Clubs scheme.

As a spouse, as a Community Development Officer and as a Grandmother I can see the fantastic potential of Reading Force, we promote it in our local schools and we always put a scrapbook in any deployment packs and arrivals information the Hive Information Officer distributes to RAF High Wycombe families. We also suggest it to families going through separation or divorce to help keep children connected to both parents.Danielle Bowman, Community Development Officer, RAF High Wycombe


Reading Force is a tri-service charity - to find out more about the promoting Reading Force in clubs for Service children, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on the work of the RAF Benevolent Fund, go to www.rafbf.orgFor more information on Ben Clubs - click here

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