Sathnam Sanghera and Penguin Random House UK celebrate children’s literacy in Birmingham with the launch of Connecting Stories

19 Jan 2021
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Penguin Random House UK and Sathnam Sanghera today announce a campaign to support young people’s literacy in the Birmingham area. Delivered by Birmingham Stories, the partnership between the National Literacy Trust and the University of Birmingham, the Arts Council England-funded project increases children and young people’s access to literary experiences and books.

Sathnam Sanghera will be championing reading and creative writing in the Birmingham community. To further support the goal of encouraging children to become readers and writers, publisher Penguin Random House UK will donate books to the Birmingham area.

Young people age 11-14 years will be invited to take part in a creative writing competition with a unique theme, to be announced shortly. Entries will be published in one of 19 Connecting Stories anthologies and displayed in one of Birmingham community’s cultural institutions.

Sathnam Sanghera, Author, says:

"My father couldn't read or write, but he still took me to the library every fortnight, wanting me to have the gift of reading. It changed my life and working with the National Literacy Trust on Connecting Stories, I look forward to sharing my own love of reading with young people across Birmingham in the hope that it inspires them to put reading at the centre of their everyday lives.”

Mike Leyland, Senior Project Manager, Birmingham Stories, at the National Literacy Trust, says:

“Connecting Stories will provide vital support for young people and families in Birmingham that have been disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19. During this difficult time, we have seen the positive impact of community and connecting with others. This initiative will not only develop reading and creative writing skills, but will support the wellbeing of many young people. I am really excited to be supporting this campaign.”

Sarah Crown, Director of Literature at Arts Council England, says: “Connecting Stories is a brilliant, creative way of supporting children’s literacy in communities suffering disproportionately from the impact of COVID-19. The commitment of publishers big and small to helping children and young people connect with stories and the authors is hugely exciting, and will offer inspiration to children and families around the country, as well as a means of celebrating the unique communities and resources in local areas.

“Arts Council England is proud to support this work, and excited by the opportunities it offers, both now and in the future.”

Find out more about Connecting Stories here.