More than 250 schools children were invited to Broughton Shopping Park this week to take part in a storytelling session, aimed at helping them fall in love with reading.
The session was part of the National Literacy Trust’s Young Readers Programme, in partnership with Broughton Shopping Park.
The programme encourages children under the age of 11 to read for fun in their spare time, which can have an important impact on their literacy skills. Recent research from the National Literacy Trust revealed that children who read every day outside the classroom are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age than those who never read outside class.
Over the past few months, pupils from Saltney Ferry CP School, Saltney Wood Memorial and St Clare’s Catholic Primary School have taken part in three literacy-focused events where they learned how to choose books they will enjoy and selected three to take home for free. The project culminated in an event at Broughton Shopping Park, where pupils took part in literacy-focused activities, including a storytelling session.
The schools were also given a £100 book voucher from WHSmith and pupils were taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the store where they were given the chance to quiz staff on their favourite fictional stories and characters.
Centre manager at Broughton Shopping Park, Alan Barker, said: “Working with our local community is something we take pride in and we were thrilled to welcome schoolchildren from Flintshire to our centre to take part in the storytelling event.
“It was great to see the children get really excited about reading and watch them be inspired to choose which books to take home. A big thanks to WHSmith, Nandos and Cineworld who helped to make the day enjoyable for all involved too. The programme really helps to make a difference in our local area and is a wonderful way to encourage the children to read books outside of school time.”
Teacher at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School, Jenny Hughes, speaking on behalf of the schools, said: “A big thank you to Broughton Shopping Park for helping to reiterate the importance of books to us in such an enjoyable way – myself and the children had a wonderful time.”
National Literacy Trust director Jonathan Douglas said: “We were delighted to bring the Young Readers Programme to Broughton Shopping Park, giving local children the chance to develop a love of reading in a fun environment outside the classroom.
“With the support of British Land, our goal is to motivate children in Flintshire to enjoy reading, which will help them to succeed at school, equip them with vital skills for the future and enrich their lives.”
British Land - the owner of Broughton Shopping Park - has funded the programme for five years and to date has run events for more than 18,000 children across the UK, inspiring them to read for enjoyment and helping them develop life-long skills.