Photograph taken on 12th May - Frank Cottrell Boyce with students from Petchey Academy in Hackney, London who won the best student presentation prize in the Hackney Schools’ Short Novel Awards for a detailed and original response to short novel published by Barrington Stoke. The event was organised to celebrate achievements of students taking part in a pioneering programme run by the Learning Trust in Hackney.
Winning readers – students from five secondary schools in Hackney have been taking part in ‘Literacy Intervention Toolkit’ (LIT), a pioneering programme, run by the Learning Trust, created to tackle low levels of literacy and to encourage reading for pleasure. By the end of the year most had read five Barrington Stoke short novels. The purpose of the event was to provide low level readers with the same opportunities as Gifted and Talented students. Petchey Academy won the prize for the best student presentation for their detailed and original response to Joanna Kenrick’s ’Mindset.’ They won cinema tickets for the Vue in the Angel.
At the end of the day the students voted for the book they wanted to win the Hackney Schools’ Short Novel Award. The winner was the gory Night Hunger by Alan Gibbons, followed closely by Frank Cottrell Boyce’s comedy read, Desirable.
Alan Gibbons comments:
"I am delighted to win this award. Anyone who can help young people develop the Reading habit is giving them a precious gift. Thanks to the young people of Hackney for this recognition."
Jodie Warner from The Learning Trust adds:
“The first Hackney Schools’ Short Novel Awards event has exceeded expectations, taking a group of students who have not often had a positive experience of reading and creating amongst them an excited buzz about books.”
Many thanks to Linklaters and Get Hackney Reading, whose support has provided each school with a set of books as well as the gift of a book to each student, personally signed to them by the author.