Girls banned as sport aids boys to boost their reading

ABSORBING Richard Wood and son Vinny Wood-McNiff, reading together during the Guys Only open day. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132639-839)
ABSORBING Richard Wood and son Vinny Wood-McNiff, reading together during the Guys Only open day. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132639-839)
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FATHERS and sons have been bonding at a Copnor school in a bid to help improve boys’ reading skills.

Copnor Junior School opened on Saturday morning to invite more than 50 boys and their dads to take part in different sporting activities alongside reading together.

It’s the first time any sort of project, called Guys Only, has taken place at the school and was targeted at boys as they tend to struggle with literacy more than girls do.

Debbie Short, library manager at the school, said: ‘We have got a huge focus on reading across the school this year.

‘It was important to us to identify groups of people who would be able to come in and take advantage of sporting activity and using the library on a Saturday morning.

‘Boys love sport. They love taking part in events.’

The boys played football, rugby and basketball as part of the day.

‘We try to encourage dads to read with their boys,’ added Mrs Short.

‘Our dads are working the majority of the time and they have little time to spend with their boys and Saturday seemed a good time when both were available. It went really well. We were really impressed with the turnout.

‘As a school, our main aim this year is to improve reading skills across the school with boys and girls.’

And Mrs Short said she felt the scheme was a big success.

‘They seemed to have a fabulous time,’ she said.

‘They got a lot out of the different sporting activities they could do.

‘It was nice for them to look through the new fiction and non-fiction to tempt them into the library.

‘It’s about reading for pleasure.

‘We encouraged the boys to read the stories that they had chosen with their dads.’

Mrs Short added that the parents were happy to take part.

‘They were impressed that the school had put something on on a Saturday morning to enable them and the boys to come in,’ she said.

‘Very often dads don’t get in till gone 6pm on a weekday and there isn’t time in the week to do that sort of thing.

‘They had a great time. They thoroughly enjoyed the event and taking part rushing around the playground.’