Do you work in a HIVE, welfare office, school, pre-school, HMS Heroes group, community group, local library, or charity?
If so, you’re a central character in the lives of many Forces children and their families. Spending time with them on a regular basis gives you a window into their lives and puts you in a special position to help them flourish.
Reading Force is a shared reading initiative set up with the wellbeing of Forces families in mind, using books to create fun family time and help them stay close through challenging times. If children in your care and their parents are dealing with separation, looking to build their reading confidence or strengthen second language skills, tell them how Reading Force can help them.
How you can help
Reading Force is free and won’t take up much of your time. There are so many benefits of doing Reading Force, and you can encourage Forces children and their families to take part in Reading Force in the following ways:
- Point parents in the direction of our website, especially if you know that parents of children in your class or group are going to be deployed
- Register your organisation with Reading Force – it’s quick and easy, with no charge
- Allocate one person in your organisation to become a Reading Force Ambassador and champion the scheme to staff and families as a way to keep in touch and improve reading skills
- Display our posters (sent within your Reading Force resources pack) to help you promote Reading Force to parents, grandparents and children in your local community who might not otherwise hear about it
- Download additional free material from the resources page to keep spreading the word
- Share our brochure with your staff, so they can talk to parents and children about Reading Force too
- Talk to us about organising a fun and interactive author visit – they’re a fantastic way to engage families in shared reading. Authors who endorse Reading Force and have made school visits include Philip Ardagh, Vivian French, Kristina Stephenson, Tom Palmer and Meg Rosoff, to name but a few
Scrapbooks and the Reading Force Scrapbook Competition
Ask families you work with how they’re getting on with their book and scrapbook. Remind them that every family who finishes a scrapbook and sends it to us to look at receives a certificate and a free book. They’re also automatically entered into the Reading Force Scrapbook Competition for the chance to win other great prizes. We return scrapbooks by recorded delivery for the family to keep as a special memento.
If you have any more questions about Reading Force, please call us or send us an email.
“This is an activity both Evelyn and I can do when she misses her dad when he goes to work. It takes her mind off Daddy being away from her and we can have fun putting our scrapbook together. When Evelyn’s dad comes home from camp in the evenings we have something to show him as he always asks us about our day.”
“By connecting with my family on Skype to talk about the book, I felt closer to the family.”
“There need to be some positives to being a military child – it can be so hard at times – your reading initiative is a lovely thing. Thank you so much.”
“Some mums find it challenging to manage their children’s behaviour when their dads are away on deployment….
…Sharing a book and encouraging them to do Reading Force with their child is an effective way of helping to ground children, soothe their complex feelings and channel their feelings into a positive and fun activity.”
Maz Burridge, HIVE Information Officer, RAF Odiham HIVE