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Peterborough Celebrates Reading

Peterborough Celebrates Reading public launch

Peterborough Celebrates Reading was launched in the summer of 2019 and ran until September 2020 to inspire and motivate children and their families to read. The project was launched by Peterborough Reads, Peterborough City Council and Vivacity to bring together local partners to support children's reading journeys at school and in the community. .

Although we had to postpone and change some our activity due to COVID-19, it was a huge success.

What we achieved

We supported parents and carers to read and interact more with their young children.

  • 145 new mothers, including those living in sheltered accommodation, received Small Talk bags with resources and books to share with their little ones
  • 350 new parents received Time Together packs, produced in 11 different languages, through health and community partners

We helped reluctant and struggling readers in primary schools get access to the support they needed.

  • 270 volunteers were trained as Reading Buddies to develop the reading skills of hundreds of children across 26 primary schools
  • More than 200 teachers and early years professionals have received extra training to support children furthest behind in their literacy development
  • 5 primary schools across Peterborough received Literacy Toolkits, packed full of 50 books and resources to inspire reading
  • 21 primary schools took part in the latest English Challenge – a book quiz for young people

We raised awareness of the importance of literacy across Peterborough and engaged businesses and community partners in support of our work

  • 17 micro-libraries have been created in GP surgeries, on busses and in public buildings
  • Tens of thousands of books, magazines and resources have been donated through foodbanks, community events and direct to homes during the initial lockdown
  • Local companies got on board with our Bookbench trail and supported 11 primary schools to design sculptures that go be on public display as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow
Book donation


Peterborough Celebrates Reading also ran a series of exciting events, in person before lockdown and virtually ever since.

  • 1,000 primary school children attended an amazing Mr Men and Little Miss theatre experience thanks to The New Theatre and our links with publishers
  • A bear hunt at Nene Park to mark the 30th anniversary of the children’s classic, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury - 300 anniversary editions of the book were gifted to families who took part
  • 90 children aged five-years-old launched Stagecoach’s Books on Buses project
  • Author event with award winning illustrator, Nick Sharratt, to launch an exhibition of his work
  • A series of storytelling sessions on Facebook, including bilingual videos and two nursery rhymes translated in British Sign Language

Thank you to all of our partners and funders who helped make Peterborough Celebrates Reading a success. Because of you we were able to give thousands more children a book to take home, often their first one, and engage with reading in a new way.

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