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Thousands of people in Birmingham complete the #Take10ToRead challenge alongside Jordan Stephens, Beth Suzanna and Natalie Costa

12 Oct 2022

Take 10 - Jordan and Beth.png

At 10am on Monday 10 October, over 2,800 people across Birmingham took part in the National Literacy Trust’s #Take10ToRead challenge, for World Mental Health Day. The campaign promotes the link between reading for pleasure and positive mental wellbeing, encouraging everyone to drop everything and read for ten minutes to boost their mood.

Over 700 children from local schools and early years settings tuned into a digital event with author and performer Jordan Stephens and illustrator Beth Suzanna, who read their story The Missing Piece (Bloomsbury Children’s Books). The duo discussed how they created the story together, sharing their favourite moments from the story, and encouraged children to take time to choose their own favourite words and pictures.

A further group of over 2,000 children tuned into a second virtual event with Natalie Costa, author of Love Being You and Know Your Feelings (b small publishing). In this event for 7 to 12 year olds, Natalie discussed the creative process behind her books and encouraged children to take part in the Chase Rewarding Futures Reading Zone Challenge, before going on to share her top tips for looking after our minds. She then called upon all attendees to spend 10 minutes following the event for self-led reading time.

Alongside the two online events, Birmingham Stories hosted an event at the University of Birmingham, encouraging students to take 10 minutes out of their day to read. The team set up a reading area in the Arts Building where 40 students came along to read for 10 minutes in between their studies, and were able to keep the book they had chosen to continue reading at home. A further 300 books and resource packs were distributed to schools and adult education centres across the city.

The #Take10ToRead challenge encourages schools, businesses and communities to stop what they’re doing and take the time to read and focus on their wellbeing every day. Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that reading can be an effective way of helping people to take care of their mental health and wellbeing. It only takes 10 minutes a day to see the benefits, including boosting mood, reducing stress levels and improving memory and concentration.

“We are thrilled to be supporting Take 10. In these difficult times, encouraging children to read and explore the world through different means has never been more important. #Take10ToRead is an excellent way of reaching children and families from many different communities across the UK, we are delighted to be able to support them and help nurture a love of reading.”

Jordan Stephens and Beth Suzanna

“It’s fantastic to see that over 2,800 children in Birmingham joined our incredible authors and illustrators, Jordan Stephens, Beth Suzanna and Natalie Costa to complete the #Take10ToRead challenge on World Mental Health Day. Taking just 10 minutes to read every day can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing and I hope that people across Birmingham have been inspired to read for pleasure today and every day moving forward.”

Kyle Turakhia, Birmingham Stories Hub Manager at the National Literacy Trust
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