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News story

Business support needed to bring iconic BookBenches to Stoke-on-Trent

01 Feb 2018

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Plans are underway to bring a striking trail of book-shaped benches to Stoke-on-Trent in 2019, as part of the Stoke Reads campaign. 

Around 30 BookBenches will be decorated by local schools with designs inspired by books and stories. The colourful BookBenches will be displayed in venues across the six towns forming a trail for families to enjoy and raising awareness of the importance of literacy skills. 

Stoke Reads is led by the National Literacy Trust and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, supported by The City Learning Trust. The BookBench project will be delivered in association with creative producers Wild in Art. 

Schools and community groups will need to buy one or more BookBenches to take part in the project, which many will achieve through fundraising initiatives. Additional funding is required from local businesses to support schools and enable the BookBench project to go ahead. 

For a donation of £1,000 or more, businesses can be involved in this high profile project and help inspire young people in Stoke to enjoy reading, which can have an important impact on their success in life. Organisations that support the project will have the opportunity to work with a local school to design their BookBench, and will be profiled across project materials.  

Businesses including Steelite International, Synectics Solutions and Michelin have already commitment to financially supporting the project. 

Louise Griffin, Group HR Director - ‎Steelite International said: 
“The work of Stoke Reads is vital for the City, It’s important for our employees, our families and our communities.  I am delighted that Steelite International is behind the Book Bench project of the Stoke Reads campaign.  It is a visible and exciting way to raise the profile of reading across the City, giving our youngsters a fantastic opportunity to explore the wonderful worlds of literacy and storytelling and we are delighted to have the opportunity to support and engage our current and future employees in the project.”

Jenny Belt, Literacy Coordinator at the Discovery Academy said:
“The Discovery Academy is delighted to be taking part in the BookBench Project. We are currently running a vote for students and parents to find their most popular book.   At the moment it is a tie between The Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter series.  Whichever series wins, we will then vote on the individual books so that we can finally decide on the cover that we will base our BookBench on.  We are having a sponsored read to raise the funds on World Book Day, and then it will be full steam ahead!”

Jason Vit, Head of National Literacy Trust Hubs said:
“Decorating BookBenches with scenes and characters from stories is a great way to inspire children to read more widely, but we need businesses to help us bring this project to life. By supporting the BookBench project your organisation can be part of an exciting public event, strengthen links with a local a school and help to make a difference to the lives of children and families in Stoke.”

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