BookBenches designed by Middlesbrough schools unveiled at Northern Children’s Book Festival

21 Nov 2016
Boro BookBenches

On Saturday 19 November, the Northern Children’s Book Festival at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art saw the unveiling of 12 new BookBenches, designed by Middlesbrough schools. 

The iconic benches, which are shaped like open books, have been decorated by local pupils who were inspired by books and reading.

The unveiling of the BookBenches marked the launch of the new Middlesbrough: A Reading Town initiative, developed by the Middlesbrough Achievement Partnership (MAP), supported by the National Literacy Trust.

The initiative builds on the work of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough, which has made literacy a priority in local communities since 2013.

Middlesbrough: A Reading Town will focus on Middlesbrough schools, promoting reading and literacy through a series of projects and activities for pupils, teachers and parents.

The Mayor of Middlesbrough, David Budd, and a number of councillors including Jan Brunton, Ron Arundale and Lewis Young, attended the Northern Children’s Book Festival to see the BookBenches and to affirm their support for Middlesbrough: A Reading Town.

Allison Potter, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough, and chair of MAP’s Middlesbrough – A Reading Town, said: 
“It’s really exciting to see how different schools have interpreted their book, chosen from the Middlesbrough 100 Best Books list, to create these amazing BookBenches.  What better way to launch Middlesbrough as a reading town than with the fantastic authors who are here as part of the Northern Children’s Book Festival.”

Helen Ede, Deputy Head Teacher at Newham Bridge Primary School, who took part in the BookBench project, said: 
“The children chose the book ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ by Drew Daywalt for our BookBench, and as a school we have undertaken a wide range of activities to capture the enthusiasm the pupils have for this text. Our art club designed and painted the bench themselves, and are very proud that it will be part of the Northern Children’s Book Festival and displayed at MIMA. On its return to school, the bench will be sited in the playground ready for all to admire.  As a school, we are so pleased that we embarked upon this project - it has been a pleasure to see the children’s enthusiasm for reading.”