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News story

World Book Day across the generations: Suffolk children visit care home to celebrate reading together

03 Mar 2023


Pupils from Oulton Broad Primary School joined residents at Lilac Lodge Care Home in Lowestoft to celebrate World Book Day®, sharing their favourite stories and reading together.

The group of pupils first visited Lilac Lodge on Thursday 23 February, a week ahead of World Book Day, to get to know each other and to choose their £1 World Book Day books. Local author Nigel Lungenmuss-Ward joined the group for an afternoon of storytelling.

They then returned on World Book Day to read their chosen books with residents at Lilac Lodge and talk about their favourite bits in the books.

This was followed up by a book gifting event at Lowestoft Library and an over-60s event at the Lowestoft Centre to ensure they have books to read with the children in their lives.

Funding for the event was provided by Central Co-op and supported by staff from Communities Together East Anglia.

“We know that engaging children who need support on World Book Day can open them up to a lifetime love of books and improve their literacy levels. By sharing this day with a local author and some new friends from Lilac Lodge, these children have seen the fun that can be had reading together and will continue that fun at home with parents and grandparents.”

Sally Connick, Get Suffolk Reading Project Manager for Lowestoft

Over half a million children across the UK don’t have a book of their own at home, which is why the National Literacy Trust has partnered with World Book Day® to distribute their £1 books to children across the country and specifically in areas with high economic disadvantage and low literacy levels. The National Literacy Trust takes the World Book Day books out of bookshops – which can be inaccessible for some families – and puts them into community spaces so all families can access them, including schools, libraries, football clubs, hospitals, and foodbanks.

Having a book of your own at home and celebrating reading with those around you can increase a child’s enjoyment of reading and their reading frequency, both of which impacts a child’s literacy levels.

Literacy skills will not just help a child succeed in school, but throughout their adult life: it gives them more opportunities in the job market; as a parent, it can give them the tools to support their own child’s learning; it can even affect their mental wellbeing and life expectancy. High literacy skills can even help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty that many families face.

“We’ve brought reading out of the classroom for World Book Day and it’s great to give children the chance to share stories with the older generation. The support and generosity of Get Suffolk Reading has really helped our pupils love reading even more than they already did!"

Erin Wilton, teacher at Oulton Broad Primary School
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