National Share a Story Month
Supporting staff and students to achieve their full potential since 1968.
Welcome to our weekly CENMAC blog post
National Share a Story Month | by Mary Long, CENMAC Advisory Teacher
Healthy bodies + healthy minds = happy humans.
May is one of my favourite months of the year, with lots going on and lots to get excited about. As you might have read in our newsletter this month, May is a time to get out and active and take pleasure in our natural surroundings during National Walking Month. Mental Health Awareness Month and the corresponding awareness week also happen in May (keep an eye on our blog at the end of the month from Advisory Teacher Wayne who will be exploring this in more depth).
After a child learns to read independently, continuing with
sharing books and reading aloud with them, will continue to
improve their skills and develop a lifelong love of reading.
Another highlight of this time of year for me is National Share a Story Month. This is an annual celebration of the power of sharing and telling stories. Reading and enjoying stories together has so many benefits for children, including stimulating imagination and creativity, and developing spoken language, understanding and listening skills. Before a child learns to read, sharing a story can help to prepare them for understanding the written word. After a child learns to read independently, continuing with sharing books and reading aloud with them, will continue to improve their skills and develop a lifelong love of reading.
The Federation of Children’s Book Groups (organisers of National Share a Story Month) offer a host of opportunities, competitions, resources and events each year, all tied to a theme. This year the theme is Myths, Magic and Mayhem and the FCBG has published some lists of suggested reads based on each of those key words:
Here are five suggestions for celebrating National Share a Story Month:
- Explore a story together using your senses by making your own DIY sensory story bag. Register first with Bagbooks and then you will be able to access all the stories and create a story bag using easy to find household items. There are also some lovely accessible stories available from The Children’s Trust website, with suggestions for objects and easy scripts to follow.
- How about investigating whether Doorstep Library operates in your area. This not-for-profit organisation has a team of volunteers who visit families once a week during term time (either virtually or on their doorstep) to read aloud to children and share their love of books. This is a great service for families who may speak English as an Additional Language or where parents may find it difficult to read with their child for other reasons.
- If you would like to share more stories with someone who is blind or partially sighted, why not join the Living Paintings free postal library of tactile books. Children can borrow up to ten books at a time for eight weeks, which are posted out to home or school and then returned free of charge. The books all have raised tactile images to explore through touch, as well as the braille translation on clear plastic overlays.
- For those who love competitions, take a look at the FCBG’s competition page with prizes galore for students and schools. You could use dictation tools to write your short story – hurry though as the deadlines for competition entries are all in June!
- Lastly, as well as sharing stories this month, what about booking something for your school to look forward to in June? Settle Stories are offering a Streamed Storytelling Performance to celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June (you can also watch it back for one week after this date so long as you register first).
Do also look out for our guest blog in a few weeks’ time (the third this year from Charlton Park Academy’s wonderful librarian Caroline) who will be giving her recommendations on books which have characters with disabilities.
Don’t forget you can share your CENMAC experiences for our CENMAC family to enjoy. Plus, sign up for our newsletter to read more about assistive technology.