Story Hunters is a new programme from the UK’s largest children’s reading charity BookTrust.
Each year, the charity reaches 2.5 million children across the UK with books, resources, and support to help develop a love of reading.
Story Hunters is designed to support struggling or reluctant Year 4 readers. The programme is about making reading fun and accessible and exploring the world of storytelling with family and friends.
The programme is based on the award-winning Letterbox Club model, which has been successful in supporting the educational outcomes of children in care.
Last year, BookTrust ran a pilot of the Story Hunters programme, evaluating whether a model using the same system of giving out regular books and activity packs could benefit other groups of children.
It was piloted in 16 schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with 322 children. Those who took part were primarily children eligible for free school meals, as well as children who were struggling or reluctant readers.
The main impacts recorded were:
• Improved attitudes to reading
• Improved engagement with reading and reading more frequently
• Increased enjoyment of reading
• Improved confidence and progress with reading
Children were overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic about their experiences of Story Hunters. They described being really excited to receive the parcels and opening them as soon as possible so that they could start using the contents. The children taking part in the focus groups had really enjoyed the programme and several mentioned that they felt really happy to have been chosen to take part. Parents and carers supported this in their responses.
Teachers also reported that children had been hugely enthusiastic and all said that children enjoyed taking part in Story Hunters. Teachers remarked on the sustained enjoyment of the programme, saying that children would often talk to them and their classmates about the books they had received, and bring in parts of the packs to show them. All teachers said that they would recommend the programme to other schools.
Teachers were very positive about the Story Hunters resources in terms of their range, quality, age-appropriateness and level. They praised the variety of books in terms of level, with some more challenging books, which could either be read alone or with an adult, and some easier books which all children could access independently and share with their siblings or peers. Teachers also praised the variety of different genres included in the packs, which had introduced children to books that they might not have read before or might not have chosen for themselves.
Turn your students into bookworms and sign up today!
For just £99 per child, students will receive six personalised packs once a month full of carefully chosen books, activities and stationery (October 2017–March 2018).
“The sheer excitement on their faces when I’ve handed them out, and then enjoyment, and whenever they see me round school they stop me to talk about it or say “when’s the next one coming?”
Teacher, Gwenfro Community Primary School
“We read more now than ever before and for the first time ever my son asked me for a book (The World’s Worst Children) when we were shopping last week, he finished it in two days.”
Parent, St Patrick’s Primary School