Get Witham Reading Goes Global

30th June 2017

On Friday 30 June 2017, local MP Priti Patel will launch her yearly literacy initiative - Get Witham Reading – in schools to celebrate and promote reading achievements by students and young people in the Witham constituency.

First launched in 2012, Get Witham Reading is commemorating its sixth anniversary by bringing together over a hundred schoolchildren and their parents and teachers to participate in reading activities. The Prime Minister, has praised Priti for encouraging children and young people to embrace reading.

Students, parents, Governors and teachers across 6 schools – Templars Academy, Elm Hall Primary School, Tiptree Heath Primary School, Baynards Primary School, Thurstable School, and Powers Hall Academy - will take part in a range of activities designed to encourage leisurely reading and improve literacy levels. Each school will put on activities that are based on chosen books which will encourage a love of language and storytelling.

This year the British Council, through their Connecting Classrooms initiative, will partner participating schools with classrooms abroad. The children will be able to interact and share their literacy experiences via skype with their peers in developing countries, in order to grow their confidence and command for reading.

Priti said: “I am proud to launching this year’s Get Witham Reading and join pupils from right across the Witham constituency and further afield with schools in Nepal taking part too.

Britain stands proud in the world with its contribution to literature and I hope this event inspires children and parents, as in previous years, to enjoy reading and develop a solid literacy foundation. Recreational reading is crucially important for learning and early development because it fosters a child’s imagination, whilst improving core academic skills.

I commend each school involved along with all the parents and Governors, for their hard work in making this event a great success. I also want to thank Councillor Ray Gooding and Councillor JoAnn Williams, Witham Town Mayor, for attending and lending their support.”

In a letter to Priti, the Prime Minister wrote: “I am thrilled to learn that you are all taking part in this year’s Get Witham Reading. Reading is crucially important, necessary tool for learning throughout school, as well as in later life. We are lucky to be spoilt for choice with so many different books and authors to choose from. I have always enjoyed reading, including the Harry Potter and Roald Dahl adventure classics. Reading gives children a chance to be creative with their originality, whilst enriching core academic skills.”

Although the Prime Minister cannot attend the event, she added: “I am heartened to read of the emphasis the schools taking part place on raising literacy standards. Thank you to all those that have dedicated their time and resource to arranging this fantastic event.

Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I am pleased to see that the Get Witham Reading initiative is continuing to grow and look forward to celebrating the achievements of pupils. Good literacy skills are very important in ensuring young people are equipped for employment and wider adulthood.

“Schools in Essex do an excellent job and the percentage of Key Stage 2 pupils in Essex achieving the Government’s expected standard in reading was above the national average last year. We are committed to supporting schools to ensure all pupils receive the best possible education and also run initiatives such as the Summer Reading Challenge and the Essex Book Awards to encourage young people to enjoy reading.”

Mrs Jane Bass, Executive Head Teacher of Connected Learning Multi Academy Trust, commented: “At Powers Hall Academy we transformed the school to recreate the magical world of Harry Potter.

Both schools had a fabulous morning which was much enjoyed by all who attended and I want to thank the parents, governors, staff, Priti, Councillor Gooding and the Mayor for taking part and raising awareness of the importance of reading.”

Mrs Tracey Oram, Head Teacher of Tiptree Heath Primary School, commented: “This year Tiptree Heath has been focusing on developing a reading culture throughout the school and so we are really pleased to be hosting yet another Get Witham Reading event, ‘Reading Around the World’.

Our children and parents along with children from other local schools will be participating in various reading activities linked to stories around the world.  They also will be enjoying the energetic performance of storyteller Mike Dodsworth, who will be sharing his stories from Brazil.”

The Mayor of Witham, Councillor JoAnn Williams, said: “I am so excited to be a part of Get Witham Reading 2017.  Reading is a gift that you give yourself and brings a lifetime of excitement, exploration, entertainment and learning.”

“This program helps to grow the students’ imaginations, help them improve their understanding of what goes on in the world around them and of course helps them progress throughout their education. Youth engagement is the major drive for my year as mayor and this initiative certainly is the perfect way to engage our youth!”

Get Witham Reading 2017

A12/A120 Consultations

Strategic Road Network Consultations

There are two important consultations running at the moment on key strategic road infrastructure improvements - the A12 widening scheme and the upgrading of the A120. Priti has been campaigning to secure new investment in these roads and has welcomed the consultations taking place. Members of the public can review the proposals for the A12 and A120 at the weblinks below, attend consultation events, and respond to the consultation. Feel free to also contact Priti by email to: [email protected] with your views too.

Widening the A12

Upgrading the A120

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