Schools in Kent celebrated for award-winning literacy initiatives 15 July 2019 On Wednesday, (July 10), we were delighted to attend and support the Kent Literacy Awards 2019 to help reveal the county’s best school initiatives that help pupils to develop key skills and fulfil their potential. Altogether 35 awards were presented to primary, secondary, and special schools successfully inspiring pupils to read or express themselves verbally or through the written word. As members of the judging panel we were overwhelmed by the volume of entries from schools and the dedication to raising literacy attainment among pupils. We were privileged to present the overall award for best use of art or poetry to develop literacy skills which went to Meadowfield School in Sittingbourne for their inspirational approach to teaching poetry to pupils with complex special needs. As a prize we presented them with the opportunity to host one of our new Reading Helper Training Courses which helps upskill volunteers in schools to help take away any worries about supporting the 'teaching' of reading and leave volunteers free to share the joy of brilliant books with children through one-to-one sessions. Ginny Lunn, Managing Director of Coram Beanstalk, said: “We all know how important it is to develop good literacy skills as early on in life as possible, but it’s especially vital to ensure that the learning experience is as engaging and fun as possible to ensure all children feel confident and able to apply them across the curriculum. That’s why we are passionate about supporting the Kent Literacy Awards, it’s a chance to celebrate the projects that are making a genuine impact to children and also an opportunity to spread best practice so that more children can benefit from these excellent ideas. We always leave the awards feeling incredibly inspired and in awe of the teachers and schools behind the winning projects.” Children’s author and illustrator, Nick Butterworth – an honorary patron of the KM Charity Team, spoke at the awards about his struggle at school and how it was his mother’s storytelling which inspired a love of language, along with a sympathetic art teacher who encouraged his creative strengths. Details of the award-winning schemes have been incorporated into a digital awards programme booklet to create a best practice document. To download a free copy, visit www.KentLiteracyAwards.co.uk. Find out more about how Coram Beanstalk can support reading at your school.