Hundreds of children from four primary schools in Peterborough celebrated the joy of reading across various author visits.
Three hundred pupils from Braybrook, William Law and Discovery primary schools attended events held in the John Clare Theatre in Peterborough Central Library with popular children’s author Guy Bass, while youngsters from Lime Academy Abbotsmede held the author visit at their school.
The events were organised by the National Literacy Trust, in partnership with WHSmith as part of the charity’s Young Readers Programme, with, support from Vivacity Peterborough Libraries.
This year, the programme has supported the literacy of hundreds of local children through a series of fun events designed to inspire a love of reading, where children got the chance to choose brand new books to keep.
Children from each school were also given the chance to visit the WHSmith store in Bridge Street to choose a selection of books for their school library.
At the events author Guy Bass (Spynosaur and Laura Norder), who grew up in Peterborough, brought his books to life with a series of lively and interactive presentations. The children then got the chance to choose a brand new Guy Bass book to keep, before having it signed by the author.
Laquicher Bloomfield, Year 5 teacher from Braybrook Primary School, said: “It’s been fantastic to see our pupils so engaged with the authors and their stories and get excited about choosing books for themselves with the Young Reader’s Programme. The programme has been an invaluable experience and has really encouraged pupils to explore reading more.”
The Young Readers Programme in Peterborough is funded by WHSmith and supported by employees from the Bridge Street store. The programme has been delivered in four primary schools by staff from the National Literacy Trust, and has directly supported the literacy of 300 children.
Nicki Woodhead, head of corporate responsibility at WHSmith, attended the event. She said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to support the National Literacy Trust’s Young Readers Programme for another year through financial support and book donations for young readers and their schools.
“We have a long-standing programme of supporting the local communities in which our stores are based, and our staff love building links with schools and getting involved in local projects.”
Sinead Naidoo, Young Readers Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “When children enjoy reading and have books of their own at home they do better at school and are more likely to lead happy, healthy and successful lives.
“We were thrilled to be able to inspire young readers at Peterborough Central Library by celebrating the transformative power of books with Guy Bass, a fantastic children’s author.
“We’d like to thank WHSmith and the library for their work this year to help 300 local children discover a love of reading that will last them a lifetime.”
Elaine Wilkinson, reading development manager and team leader from Vivacity Libraries, said: “I’m delighted we have teamed up with the National Literacy Trust and WHSmith to not only offer children the chance to choose their own books, and books for their school libraries, but also the opportunity to hear from an author who brings the magical world of books and reading to life.”
WHSmith has funded the Young Readers Programme for the last 14 years, directly supporting the literacy of 25,500 children from 47 communities across the UK.
In this time, WHSmith has gifted more than 64,500 brand new books to children participating in the programme. For many children, these were the first books they had ever owned.
To find out more about the Young Readers Programme, visit: literacytrust.org.uk/programmes/young-readers-programme/.