The importance of reading for pleasure has been highlighted in recent changes to the National Curriculum. Studies show children who read for pleasure are significantly more likely to achieve higher levels of attainment, not only in English but in all subjects. This is regardless of background.
What better way to encourage reading for pleasure than introducing children to a real, live author? Author visits have been described as 'magic dust that lasts'. That's quite a claim but do read through some of my blogs about my school visits to see that's no exaggeration. Here's one example: Miracle On Trellewelyn Street.
For more information email me on infohelena-pielichaty.com.
Wi-aye man! Here's an email from a secondary school librarian near Halifax:
"I really liked your visit because you were very funny. I have never met an author before. I am just learning English because I used to live in Afghanistan till Christmas 2011. (Miss is typing what I say). I bought Never Ever and read it. Now I am re-reading it."
Kwaga, pupil at Sir Jonathan North Community College, Leicester
"Helena is an absolute joy to work with. Her boundless enthusiasm for reading and writing is lapped up by children of all abilities, and she has a knack of knowing just how to interest and involve even the most switched-off student. The teachers picked up new ways to inspire the children in creative writing, and were very impressed at how Helena formed firm relationships with the group and encouraged each one individually after class with their own writing. Every single child rated our project 10 out of 10 - or higher."
Paul Tovell, Librarian, Staffordshire (see Booked! blogs)
"Last year you came to visit us to tells us about your new series Girls F.C. I liked the look of the books so much that I went out and bought them myself. I read all 8 books that are out at the moment over the summer and I can't wait for more to come out. I am not a reader but your books just grab me as I can really relate to them. I have recently started one of your other books, Vicious Circle, it has a different feel to the other books I have read. I am enjoying it loads.
Thank you for writing the books as it has really kick-started my reading. Many thanks."
"Thank you for being part of this year's Bath Kids Lit Fest. This year's festival has been a huge success but it wouldn't have been the same without you. Thank you so much for a wonderful event and all your time and energy."
Gill and John McLay
Lucy Georgeson, LRC, Kettering Buccleuch College
"Thank you for an absolutely excellent day at St Paul's. Everything about the day was ideal and exactly what we needed. The talk was both entertaining and fast-moving and it was such a good strategy to involve students in role plays; they were all completely engaged and full of enthusiasm. The workshops were the best we have had from any visiting author, calling forth a touchingly high standard of writing from such young students."
Dorothea Manley, Librarian St Paul's Catholic School, Milton Keynes
"Helena made a fantastic return visit to Newbold during our Book Week this October and launched our week of activities!
She's visited us several times before, but never in our new purpose built accommodation. She led a superb session with a hall full of year 6 students visiting from our feeder schools. They enjoyed listening to Helena read from a book in her girls' football series. They then had the chance to become one of the characters in the team! Their enthusiasm was obvious and we had a great session.
Helena then turned her very many talents to good use in leading a session for all year 7's, again in the hall. Her approach this time was to encourage the students to think about story lines and how to get started in writing. Her audience participated fully ( in a very lively manner!) and were left both inspired and motivated!
When planning our annual book week I always invite several authors, some who I've never had before, but always make sure that there is one whom I know I can totally depend to deliver a brilliant day. This year that author was Helena. She didn't disappoint."
Sally Jones, Newbold Community School Librarian, October 2010
"What can I say? You were absolutely amazing! I can safely say you have been one of our most entertaining authors ever and more to the point one of the most inspiring."
Aneesa Akhtar, Librarian, The Green School, Isleworth
"I am writing to say thank you for a fabulous visit to Preston. Feedback for both the class visit and the family event have been excellent. The way you involved the children was great."
Kathryn Boothroyd, Senior Librarian, Lancashire County Council
"I really liked the visit from the author and I thought it was really cool when she let us get up and act out the plays from the stories."
Y5 pupil, Branston, Lincolnshire
"Thank you so much for coming in. Your visit really inspired me to write really good stories. After your visit, I rewrote my story and thankfully, with your brilliant tips, I wrote it much better."
Chloe Murphy, Y5 of St Peter at Gowts Primary, Lincoln
"Thank you for coming and telling us the fantastic story about the Twiglet story which was very funny."
Dean Y6, John Blow Primary School
"We very much appreciated your visit to Bosworth College. Your presentations were most inspiring and entertaining and all the feedback from students was excellent. GCSE and A level students alike said their workshop was enjoyable and helpful and gave them plenty of ideas to take away and try."
Margaret Starr, Bosworth Community College, Leicester
"Thank you so much for the work you did in Gateshead as part of this year's Northern Children's Book Festival. Your sessions were excellent – stimulating and enjoyable – and we felt the children got a lot from them."
Barbara Wood, Youth Services Manager
"I really liked the visit from the author and thought it was really cool when she let us get up and act out the plays from the stories."
"The children were absolutely riveted for a whole hour."
Feedback from the 'Read on Up' Book Festival, Lincolnshire