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‘Books can fire a child’s imagination’ – libraries leader backs EADT and Star £20,000 books giveaway

Mendlesham Primary School has already signed up for Books for Schools - has yours?  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mendlesham Primary School has already signed up for Books for Schools - has yours? Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A campaign by this newspaper to give away £20,000 worth of books to primary schools to boost a love of reading has been backed by the leader of Suffolk’s libraries.

Suffolk Libraries chief executive Bruce Leeke 
Picture: SONYA DUNCANSuffolk Libraries chief executive Bruce Leeke Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Approximately 160 primary schools have signed up to the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star Books for Schools campaign.

If a school collects 1,000 of the tokens printed in the newspaper, it will receive £100 of books.

At the end of the campaign, the four schools which have collected the most tokens per pupil will each receive £2,500 of books.

Bruce Leeke, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “We think the EADT’s Books for Schools campaign is an excellent idea.

Horrible Histories is among the top children's non fiction books. Photo from launch of Books for Schools campaign, pictured are pupils at Mendlesham Primary School  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHorrible Histories is among the top children's non fiction books. Photo from launch of Books for Schools campaign, pictured are pupils at Mendlesham Primary School Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Encouraging children to discover a love of reading from an early age can have many benefits.

“It can help support their education, their wellbeing and their chances later in life.

“Everyone at Suffolk Libraries is happy to support this campaign and of course if it sparks more children’s interest in books, our libraries are the perfect place to explore the world of books further.

“Talking about books and stories and related activities in school or in the library can also fire a child’s imagination and develop their social skills.”

Has your school signed up the Books for Schools campaign  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHas your school signed up the Books for Schools campaign Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Libraries believes there is a lot of research about the benefits of reading for children and young people.

For example a National Literacy Trust report found that children who are the most engaged with literacy are three times more likely to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than children who are the least engaged.

It also showed that children with above average reading skills are three times more likely to have high levels of mental wellbeing than children with below average reading skills.

EADT and Ipswich Star editor Brad Jones said: “We’re really passionate about this campaign, because reading is so important to a child’s development.

“Creating a love of books and reading at a young age is also so important.

“Our Books for Schools promotion will result in hundreds more books going in to local schools.”

■ Has your school signed up? If not, ask teachers to send the school’s name, address, postcode, telephone number and number of pupils to booksforschools@archant.co.uk

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