'Read a Million Words Together in Wales' forms an integral part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s basic skills strategy. Its aim is to encourage young boys between the ages of 9 and 14 to read.
It is at this stage that many boys begin to fall behind in their reading and once this happens it is very hard for boys to catch up. In Wales, as in many other developed countries, it is a cause for concern to parents, schools and governments.
Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch has been commissioned to develop and perform a production aimed at primary school children. The texts on which the performances are based have been chosen particularly to appeal to boys, and especially to motivate those who are reluctant readers.
During the performance they will bring to life extracts from five children’s books including Michael Lawrence’s ‘The Killer Underpants’ and ‘Living with Vampires’ by Jeremy Strong.
Anne Carlyle headteacher of Maesglas Primary School praised the Read a Million Words campaign:
“This campaign has enriched the whole school and has created an enthusiasm for reading.”
Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths said:
“The ability to read, write and use numbers is the right of every child in Wales. Our Read a Million Words initiative is bringing books to life through drama and we hope to inspire children and encourage them to become fans of reading throughout their lives.”
Basic Skills Cymru is making copies of the books used available to all schools which benefit from a performance to ensure that pupils can read the books they’ve seen brought to life. A teachers’ pack has also been developed to advise teachers how to build on the production in the classroom.
This term, as part of the same campaign, Basic Skills Cymru has also provided all schools in Wales with a new set of posters – the Real Men Read posters – featuring Welsh personalities such as Rhod Gilbert, Mark Evans and Jason Mohammad.
24 November 2009