Children and adults across Manchester are being challenged to ‘drop everything and read’ for ten minutes on National Poetry Day.
Everyone across the city is encouraged to join in by reading at the same time in their homes, schools, or workplaces, and show their support by posting on social media using #ReadMCR.
Pupils, teachers and employees from local businesses will gather in St Peter’s Square on Thursday 28 September at 11:45 am to read and enjoy poems, magazines, newspapers and more.
The event is part of the Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust. Read Manchester promotes reading for enjoyment through a year-long programme of activities and aims to raise literacy levels in the city.
The ‘drop everything and read’ challenge is supported by research which shows that reading for as little as just ten minutes every day has an important impact on how well a child does at school. Evidence also show that reading can help adults to relax, relieves stress, and improves empathy.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said: “Literacy levels have been steadily improving across the city over the last few years but we want to improve them still further.
“Reading for pleasure is key to helping with this, and I’m calling on everyone – young and old – to join me and give it a go by taking ten minutes out of their day next week to drop everything they’re doing, and wherever they are, pick up a book, a newspaper, or whatever else they’ve got to hand and just read.
“It’s not just about improving literacy skills – all the research shows that ten minutes is all it can take to help you relax, slow down, and help relieve stress by focusing on what you’re reading instead of any external pressures.”
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “When it comes to reading, we know that little and often is best and can have a huge impact on both children and adults.
“In celebration of National Poetry Day, I hope lots of people across Manchester will consider using their ten minutes to try reading poetry – a format of writing that comes in so many wonderful forms. Poems can be a great introduction for people who are new to reading or need some inspiration to start a regular reading habit.”