BookTrust’s Pyjamarama: having fun in PJs and raising money for a good cause

Published on: 25 March 2024

Students Issy and Jemima share their best bits from a fun Pyjamarama day spent using their imaginations and discussing books, while fundraising for BookTrust.

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This morning, Jemima and Issy arrived at school ready for a full day spent celebrating books while wearing their PJs – and they each brought a £1 donation for BookTrust.

"I love Pyjamarama because it's helping donations go to people that want books," says Issy. Jemima adds: "It's a way that everybody can read books. It encourages people to read more, and it's a fun day that you get to wear your pyjamas.

"Walking around the school and seeing different pyjamas was different from what you normally see. It was more colourful, more vibrant."

Inspiring each other to discover a new favourite book

Children taking part in Pyjamarama activities

As well as spending the school day in the comfort of their pyjamas, Issy and Jemima have enjoyed doing book-related activities they wouldn't normally do – supported by free activity sheets their teachers downloaded from BookTrust's website. So far, they've designed their own comics and sleepwear for their fictional heroes. "We created our own pyjamas based on our favourite book character," says Issy. "I chose Katniss Everdean from The Hunger Games."

Following these activities, have they felt inspired to read something one of their classmates is reading? Jemima says she's now tempted to check out the Percy Jackson series. "It was good seeing the pyjamas people designed based on characters from their favourite books - especially Percy Jackson," she says. "I've heard quite a few people are reading the books in that series and it sounds interesting."

Buddying up: Students of different ages reading together

Children reading to each other during Pyjamarama

Issy and Jemima are pupils at Worcestershire's Our Lady Queen of Peace school, which has taken part in Pyjamarama for several years now. Each year, every class – from Reception to Year 6 – participates in a day of activities dedicated to reading for pleasure while raising money to support BookTrust's work.

As well as making use of BookTrust's Pyjamarama classroom resources, the school has its own reading rituals born out of its Pyjamarama celebrations. This includes its "buddy system", where older pupils read a book out loud to their peers in the years below them.

"I think it's really good for the younger ones because it makes them look up to the older ones - and it can inspire them to start reading," says Lily McGrath a Year 5 Teaching Assistant, and the school's librarian. "It's the same for the older pupils, they have that role of leadership and encouraging the younger ones to read more often."

The school sees the value in building students' positive associations with books and reading through a day that they'll remember as out of the ordinary, fun and, as Jemima says, "colourful".

"I think they'll remember the experience of coming to school in their pyjamas," says Lily, "and associated with that will be their memories of talking about books with everyone. The best part for me has been seeing how excited the children have been, and them sharing their love of reading together."

Sign up for Pyjamarama 2024 now to receive your online fundraising pack

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