Once upon a time, younger readers got book day gifts

PUPILS at three different primary schools in Rawmarsh, Rotherham, have been given free books through a project sponsored by the town’s Parkgate shopping complex.

Altogether 180 children from Ryecroft Infant School, Monkwood Primary School and St Joseph’s Primary School received books in the scheme, which is run by the National Literacy Trust’s young readers programme.

To mark the event, 120 schoolchildren were invited to board two vintage buses, borrowed from the South Yorkshire Transport Museum, at Parkgate. They were joined by children’s author Michaela Morgan, who led a storytelling session.

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Denis Copeland, manager of Parkgate Shopping, said: “We are delighted to be working with the National Literacy Trust to encourage children to fall in love with reading. The three key ingredients of the programme are enjoyment, choice and ownership.

“The programme is great for helping families see how accessible books can be and show them that children can buy and enjoy books for themselves at an early age, giving them lifelong pleasure and opportunities.”

Each of the children will also be redeeming World Book Day vouchers for one of eight titles available at WHSmith.

These books from popular children’s authors such as Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl will mean that each child participating in the project will have received four books of their choice to mark this year’s event.

The shopping centre’s proprietors, British Land, have donated £8,000 to the reading initiative in Rotherham.