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News story

Cardiff primary school libraries transformed

27 Jun 2024

OakfieldPrimary-Library (10 of 23)

Children and teachers at Oakfield Primary School in Cardiff opened their brand new library this week, as part of the Libraries for Primaries campaign – an initiative founded by The National Literacy Trust and Penguin Books in 2021 which aims to ensure that every primary school across the UK has a library or a dedicated reading space.

To mark the opening of their new library, children at Oakfield Primary School were joined by best-selling Welsh writer and illustrator Jonny Duddle and Children’s Laureate Wales (2021-2023) Connor Allen, who are well-known for their work including The Pirates Next Door and The Making Of A Monster, for a celebratory event.

Over 2,500 children at 11 primary schools in Cardiff have benefitted from improved libraries as part of the Chase school libraries programme, which aims to help children and young people unlock their future potential by improving access to school libraries in under resourced communities throughout the UK.

The programme - in partnership with digital bank Chase, and supported by Penguin Books who donated 400 new books - is now in its third year in Wales. To date, it has transformed a total of 46 school libraries and reading spaces across Newport and Cardiff, to spark a love of reading in children.

Oakfield Primary School has had a complete transformation of its library, while a further 10 primary schools have received enhanced reading zones including soft furnishings, new bookcases, and an audio book device with a selection of audio books.

Sian Hoskins, Assistant Headteacher, Oakfield Primary School: “Our new library will make a huge difference in enhancing the school’s current provision and the pupils are absolutely delighted with the addition, so we're very grateful to Chase and the National Literacy Trust for making it happen. It was a pleasure to host the grand opening event and to welcome authors Jonny Duddle and Connor Allen, to inspire our pupils to love reading and make the most of their new reading space.”

Connor Allen, Children's Laureate Wales said: “Reading for pleasure at primary school was always a huge part of my everyday. Escaping to different worlds and adventuring with many different characters was just a joy. It gave me a sense of belonging at a time when I needed it the most and that sense of belonging is what I try to give back in my writing. Not everyone is blessed enough to have a wide variety of books at home, so this library is an excellent statement to encourage and nurture the next generation of brilliant minds to borrow and read these books; to get lost in the pages and stories and have the fun and joy that comes with reading.”

Cathy Geary, Project Manager, School Programmes - South East Wales, Reading for Enjoyment, National Literacy Trust: “It has been brilliant working with Chase to create really special library and reading areas for Oakfield Primary School and the other Cardiff schools. We know they will bring the children inspiration and enrichment for many years to come.”

Deborah Keay, U.K. CMO at Chase, said: “We know that reading has a transformative power which provides children with essential life skills, unlocking their potential for their future careers. So we're thrilled to mark the third year of our Chase school libraries programme in Wales, working alongside the National Literacy Trust to provide new and enhanced reading spaces to an additional 11 primary schools in Cardiff this year."

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