Essex Year of Reading welcomes Dermot O’Leary
Education / Sat 19th Mar 2022 at 07:55am
LEADING broadcaster and children’s author, Dermot O’Leary went back to the classroom today (Tuesday 15 March) to inspire schoolchildren to take part in the Essex Year of Reading and discover a lifelong love of reading.
The visit was the first in what will be a series of author visits and other fun events and activities under the Essex Year of Reading – a £1million campaign aimed at encouraging children and adults of all ages to read regularly, both for fun and to improve their reading skills.
As well as being enjoyable, reading confidently is key to being able to access other areas of education, benefitting from wider career prospects and increasing life aspirations.
Former Colchester schoolboy, Dermot O’Leary, visited Essex, where he captivated pupils with a special storytelling session from his latest book ‘Toto the Ninja Cat and the Legend of the Wildcat’. The visit was then followed by an online event where he spoke directly to thousands of Essex primary school children.
Commenting on the visit, broadcaster and children’s author of Toto the Ninja Cat and the Legend of the Wildcat, Dermot O’Leary, says: “The Essex Year of Reading is a wonderful campaign set-up to help children catch-up after missing time in the classroom due to Covid-19, while inspiring a lifelong love of reading.
“It’s great to see children enjoying reading and as a parent, I know how important it is to read to children from a very young age. My dad used to read old Irish fairy tales to me and my sister and he’d take me to Colchester Library every Saturday. I had a great teacher at primary school who helped me learn to read. I’ll never forget when I began to read independently. The page-turning joy of Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl! I loved to write when I was a kid too. I’d write little detective stories and try to sell them to the neighbours to get sweet money!”
The Essex Year of Reading has been set-up by the Essex Education Taskforce to support children and young people whose education has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign is aiming to ensure that every Essex child leaves school able to read at their age level or above.
Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability said: “We’re delighted to be joined by Dermot O’Leary, he’s been outstanding with his support and dedication to help us show children that reading is fun.
“We’re working hard to provide as much support for schools and pupils as we can. We know children and young people have missed out on learning opportunities during the pandemic and we’re here to help everyone get back on track.”
Essex Year of Reading will be rolling out a wide range of measures to schools to help pupils improve their reading.
To discover more about the Essex Year of Reading, download the app for free from the App store or Google play.
Yay Dermot Good on ya👍