A former teacher is inspiring both children and parents to look at books a new way.
Rachel Tomlinson, from Bamber Bridge, was a teacher for fourteen years before leaving to become a stay-at-home Mum to her children.
When she first became a Mother, Rachel was shocked by the impact that reading had on her young son, and subsequently her daughter, both on their language and emotional development.
Rachel said: “I have always been passionate about finding different ways to hook children into learning across the curriculum and found that stories inspired projects and learning. This has come from spending many a parents evening listening to frustrated parents who struggle to get their children to engage with reading at home and I want to make this as easy and accessible for parents to do.
Inspired to help others, she launched her new business – Reading and Beyond.
Reading and Beyond equips parents with tools, resources and tips to get their children not just reading, but loving reading.
Although her new business began once she left teaching, however, her newest revolution of a Book Swap Box was inspired from her classroom years.
As a teacher, Rachel would have a simple box in her classroom filled with some of her old books.
It was a way of inspiring children in her class with access to new, gently used books and a way of encouraging them to read wider material.
Rachel said: “After finishing teaching to be at home more with my little ones I started to create Book Swap Boxes for the local community and to spread the word about Reading and Beyond. I didn’t ever really intend to build on this but schools became interested and I’ve now created Book Swap Boxes for a number of schools across the country- one fantastic school now has 3 Book Swap Boxes tailored to the different key stages in their school!”
“I have had amazing feedback from schools, parents and the children themselves which is all the motivation I need to build on this and to get more children book swapping.”
She also runs two classes and launched her new class on Friday 5 July.
The new class is two hours, with two designated story sessions and snacks to keep the little ones fuelled with tea/coffee and biscuits for the grown-ups.
Another little addition to this class will be Book Swap for the grown-ups as well as the Little Book Swappers.
Reading and Beyond classes take place at Tiny Teacups Play Café on Mondays – 9:30 -10:30am and Fridays at St Aidans Church Hall, Bamber Bridge – 9:30 -11:30am.