Actress Brenda Blethyn took on a rare unscripted performance at a Kent school to reward young literacy stars.
The BAFTA and Golden Globe winner delivered a story time session at Garlinge Primary School and Nursery in Thanet, Kent after class 6B won a regional reading challenge organised by my educational charity Inspire Schools. This was the first time Brenda had read to such a large audience of children and being unfamiliar with the format it necessitated a small dose of ‘winging it’.
But the performance was perfect with wonderful animated and expressive narration, regular opportunities for the children to interact – which they took full advantage of – and an easy-going manner that bubbled with enthusiasm over the importance of reading and literacy.
So why is this worthy of note? Well at the very least to thank an incredibly busy lady for taking the time to support this charity’s work. But also to make the point that nothing is more important than giving children a good platform in reading. Literacy is the foundation of success in a modern society and every opportunity is needed to excite and engage children with reading for pleasure. Quite simply reading enriches lives.
But it was not just about reading, it was also about raising aspiration. To hear first hand from a local lady who has had such success on stage and screen generated a crop of inciteful questions from pupils. The children were a credit to the school.
Brenda’s visit to Garlinge will live long in the memory of the children in attendance and her enthusiasm and encouragement for them to win future reading challenges will, I predict, see a spike in their reading activity.