The ‘Prosiect X' reading scheme includes reading books at a range of levels in both fiction and non-fiction to engage primary school readers, particularly boys.
First published in English by Oxford University Press, the books have been adapted for a Welsh audience and published by Drake Educational Associates, with almost £290,000 of funding from the Welsh Assembly Government.
The publication of the new scheme comes as the Welsh Assembly Government develops its four year National Literacy Plan. The NLP sets out how literacy standards are to be raised in Wales in the future.
Speaking at the launch of the first group of titles in the ‘Prosiect X’ series at the Senedd, Education Minister, Leighton Andrews said:
“There is a link between the amount that children read and their academic achievements. We therefore need to encourage children to read as much as possible.
“The problem is books are now competing with the latest computer games and TV shows, which can make reading seem like a boring alternative. We want to show children, especially boys, that there are a range of books available in all kinds of subjects to encourage a love of reading.
“The Prosiect X scheme is helping us achieve this aim with a variety of Welsh books to inspire children to try reading.
“This scheme also supports the aims of our Welsh-medium Education Strategy. Developing Welsh language skills is essential if we are to achieve our aim of creating a Bilingual Wales. By providing Welsh books at various levels Prosiect X provides children with an entertaining approach to developing their Welsh language skills.”
According to the National Literacy Trust around 39 per cent of girls read everyday compared to just 28 per cent of boys. The National Literacy Plan will specifically target boys aged 7-11 and aims to raise literacy standards in both Welsh and English.
Under the Plan, there will be improvements in literacy training for teachers, improvements in the sharing of best practice, and support for children 7-11 who are under-achieving.
The Welsh Assembly Government commissions a wide range of high quality Welsh-medium and bilingual resources to support the curriculum in Wales, from the Foundation Phase through to post-16 subjects.