Free books for hundreds of Blackpool children

Schools across the resort to receive books ahead of Christmas

By Mike Hill
Monday, 13th December 2021, 12:30 pm

Thousands of free books are to be given to children across Blackpool this Christmas

Get Blackpool Reading is gifting 5,000 books to children at 24 primary schools this Christmas.

The books will be served up with fun literacy activities as part of festive school dinners – provided by Blackpool Council Catering Service – to inspire children to continue reading over the Christmas holidays and beyond.

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Pupils at St Kentigern’s Primary School, in Blackpool, with their free books courtesy of Get Blackpool Reading

St Kentigern’s Catholic Primary School was one of the first schools to take part in the project which is part of a campaign from the National Literacy Trust, Blackpool Opportunity Area and Blackpool Council,

Headteacher Frances Wygladala said: “The books look amazing! Thank you so much, what a difference they will make to our children”.

The books were donated by publisher HarperCollins and include Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, Paddington and the Christmas Surprise by Michael Bond, and Father Christmas Heard a Parp by Olaf Falafel.

Blackpool Library Service is also supporting the initiative by providing schools with a festive video reading of The Elves and the Shoemaker delivered by library staff to entertain pupils and encourage them to visit their local library during the school break.

Pupils at St Kentigern’s Primary School, in Blackpool, with their free books courtesy of Get Blackpool Reading

Stephanie Wood, manager of Get Blackpool Reading, said: “We are delighted to be working with Blackpool Council to give local children the gift of reading this festive season.

"Pupils’ Christmas school lunches will be served with extra special trimmings this year as we know that children who have books of their own enjoy reading more, do better at school and are happier.

“We wish everyone in Blackpool a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and encourage all to borrow, buy or gift a book to start their own reading adventure this festive season and beyond.”

Coun Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care and Schools, said: “This initiative is an excellent way to share the joy of reading and to encourage children in Blackpool to keep reading during the Christmas holidays.

Pupils at St Kentigern’s Primary School, in Blackpool, with their free books courtesy of Get Blackpool Reading

“Books bring families together and so with Christmas classics such as Grandpa Christmas and The Night Before Christmas, children can enjoy reading with their parents or older siblings and get into the festive spirit.

“Our Blackpool 30 reading challenge encourages everyone in Blackpool to read for 30 minutes a day for pleasure. We want people to discover the joy of reading, which is why we’re asking families to take part in our challenge.”

Find out more about Get Blackpool Reading by visiting getblackpoolreading.org.uk or fb.com/getblackpoolreading.