Here at Book Clubs for Schools we believe that every student should lead a happy life, and with Mental Health Awareness Week on the horizon, acknowledging that a healthy state of mind is key to this has never been more important. There are a variety of activities that can help us to feel good on the inside, such as eating right and exercise. But you may not have considered that one particular object can play a crucial part in keeping the laughter flowing and our cheeks glowing: a good book!
The truth is, reading can do the world of good for a young person’s mentality. For one, it can greatly reduce stress. The University of Sussex conducted an experiment in 2009, with the purpose of revealing which activities were the most effective at reducing stress levels. So, which activity came out on top? You guessed it: reading! According to the study, losing yourself in a good book can reduce stress levels by a whopping 68%! Since the new GCSE grading system was introduced in 2017, examinations have increased both in intensity and toughness, and you don’t need us to tell you that this has the potential to stimulate feelings of stress and anxiety amongst students. But not to fear! Encouraging reading for pleasure within schools can help students to get through those difficult days without losing the spring in their step. It’s a form of escapism, you see; the mind has the chance to roam free in a colourful world of creativity. Give the kids the books and watch their minds reap the benefits.
But where’s the fun in finishing a thrilling novel if you have no one to discuss it with? In fact, getting students involved in debates and discussions surrounding the books they’ve enjoyed, particularly through school book clubs, has a positive effect on their well-being, just like reading! Book clubs encourage students to engage in gripping debates with their fellow classmates, which gives their confidence a great big boost. Students can unwind, relax and just have a laugh. Debating the books that they love also gives children the opportunity to make new friends. The bonds of friendship that a child forms during their school years will have a huge impact on their motivation, enthusiasm and happiness, both within and outside of school time. Book clubs give children the chance to meet others with similar interests, and through this build solid friendships that are made to last. So, there you have it: a topical chat about a page-turner now and again is bound to leave students feeling reenergised, reinvigorated and full of life.
If you’d like to learn more about promoting a reading culture in your school get in touch.
By Eleanor Blake