Reading passport relaunched

Ding ding! It’s time to get on board with a great opportunity to help a new generation of local children begin a journey of imagination and adventure.

It’s ten years since the Reading Passport scheme was established by Wigtown Primary School and since then more than 900 pupils have achieved awards celebrating their involvement in reading, writing and literature events. More than two thirds of the primary school age children in Wigtown and Kirkcowan took up this optional activity which led to Rainbow, Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

The funding for the original scheme has now come to an end but it was felt that the benefits of the scheme should be rolled out for another generation. This time the Reading Passports will involve all the children providing them with invaluable opportunities in reading, creative writing, storytelling, author visits and chances to learn more about literature from local bookshops and booksellers, children’s authors and illustrators, library services and Wigtown Book Festival. The programme has been redesigned to reflect Wigtown’s unique status as Scotland’s National Book Town and the contribution the primary school and the pupils make to the life of the town.

Revisions have been made to the passport to take into account all the feedback from parents and stakeholders and it will go forward with a more streamlined approach across age groups to ensure that children at different levels are able to work on similar themes at the same time, like Scots language, with tasks becoming more advanced as the children progress through school. The restructuring means that teachers will have more time to support and encourage children with their projects in school and homework periods and as all the children will be taking part 100% of the pupils now stand to achieve their Reading Passport every year.

The annual cost of running the Reading Passport is £3,200 – just £21.30 per child. The cost includes: printing; two author visits (including fees, travel & accommodation); literary visits (to libraries, bookshops and local author events); award certificates; and award prizes in the form of book tokens, encouraging children to read further on completion of each level of their passport and supporting our local book businesses.

The next phase of the new Reading Passport needs support from the local community and companies in the area. The Wigtown Book Festival Company hopes that individuals and businesses will want to join the project as a Passport Partner by pledging an annual membership of any multiple of £5. This reflects the prizes awarded for completing the Reading Passport at each level: Rainbow £5; Bronze £10; Silver £15; and Gold £20. The Passport Partners can choose which level of the scheme they’d like to support and will receive a certificate to display acknowledging their contribution towards encouraging our future generation of readers and writers.

For further information about how you can support the Reading Passports please contact Anne Barclay anne@wigtownbookfestival.com and telephone 01988 402036.