Primary school joins laureate's £100m-a-year bid to boost libraries
- Credit: David Bebber
A village primary school will aim to boost children’s opportunities and tackle inequality through reading as part of a national project.
Benwick Primary School is one of six schools across the country to take part in the ‘life-changing libraries’ initiative, announced by Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell MBE.
Clare Talbot, headteacher at Benwick Primary School, said: “We are thrilled to be taking part in such an exciting project for our children and community and looking forward to seeing that ‘wow’ moment when they see the library for the first time and their eyes light up.
“I want this experience to give our children a lifelong memory of our library as a bright, inviting and trusted place, and for the shelves and shelves of books to open their eyes to the vibrant world outside.”
The project aims to showcase the impact a “well-resourced" primary school library can have on a child’s opportunities in life to try and reverse the effects of inequality facing children across England.
As part of the project, a library space consisting of around 1,000 titles will be installed at the school by reading charity BookTrust.
The library, which is due to open in June, aims to inspire and engage pupils by reading for pleasure, with all titles selected by BookTrust.
- 1 Thousands descend on Chatteris as town lights up for Christmas
- 2 Pedestrian killed crossing road
- 3 'White van man' crashes into rail bridge
- 4 East Cambs Council bins green waste collections for seven weeks
- 5 Auditor who fell ill on eve of farmgate report not returning to council
- 6 Michaela’s horrific ordeal: ‘My partner threatened to slit my throat and bury me alive’
- 7 Check before you travel ahead of major upgrade, commuters warned
- 8 Health chiefs call for action amid rise in sexually transmitted infections
- 9 ‘We try to think outside the box’ - Alpacas pay a visit to care home
- 10 Young man dies on B645 near St Neots following a head-on crash
Diana Gerald, CEO at BookTrust, said: “Reading opens up a world of new possibilities for children and develops aspiration, with research showing that it can drive social mobility and mitigate the effect of social inequality.
“BookTrust is delighted to be supporting Cressida’s initiative and helping develop new library spaces that inspire a reading for pleasure culture within these six schools.”
The project will also monitor the impact on pupils across 12 months.
As part of the campaign, Cowell has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to provide a ringfenced annual investment of £100m towards primary school libraries as part of its response to the pandemic.
In an open letter supported by the likes of Michael Rosen, the laureate wants the government to show their commitment towards improving primary school library provision “to help children whose future lies in the balance”.
The schools taking part in the project alongside Benwick Primary School are:
- Dinnington Community Primary School, Rotherham
- Griffin Primary School, Wandsworth
- Saviour CE Primary, Manchester
- Skerne Park Primary School, Darlington
- Woodchurch C of E Primary School, Wirral
For more information on the ‘Life-changing libraries’ project, visit: https://www.booktrust.org.uk/lifechanginglibraries.