270 Peterborough schoolchildren visited Serpentine Green to take part in a series of events designed to encourage reading for enjoyment outside of the classroom.
Children from Winyates Primary School, Braybrook Primary School and Leighton Primary School enjoyed a range of fun literary-themed workshops, including storytelling sessions, learning how to make pizzas and puppets with staff from Serpentine Green, Sub Xpress and Lamphouse Theatre at the Undercroft Theatre.
Every child also went away with a book in hand and British Land, owner of Serpentine Green, provided each of the schools with £100 of vouchers to spend on brand-new books for their libraries.
The event was part of the Young Readers Programme – an award-winning initiative by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with British Land – that works to improve children’s literacy by motivating them to read for pleasure through a series of fun activities, and gives them chance to choose books to take home and keep.
Since the partnership started in 2011, the Young Readers Programme has gifted over 127,000 books to more than 42,500 children across the country, and has helped encourage more than 1,700 children in Peterborough to read for fun outside of school.
Andy Moore from Leighton Primary School said: “The Young Readers Programme is a fantastic initiative and has really helped motivate the children to read more. A love of reading is something that can last a lifetime.”
David Wait, centre manager at Serpentine Green, said: “We’ve been supporting the Young Readers Programme for a number of years now and it’s an event that we always look forward to getting involved in.
“Seeing children from our local community being excited and inspired by books is really rewarding and we hope it has a lasting impact.”
Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, added: “Encouraging children to develop a love of reading from a young age can transform their futures, helping them do better in school and improving their chances of leading happy, healthy and successful lives.”