Children celebrate reading for enjoyment at Girlington Parade

29 Jun 2014

To mark the start of the Bradford Literacy Campaign, this year the parade’s theme was reading. Each child involved in the event took home a free book provided by award-winning publishers, including Walker Books. The book-themed day began at the morning assemblies within each of the three schools - Whetley, St Philip’s and Girlington Primary Schools, where a storyteller read from ‘Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made’ by Stephan Pastis, which the publisher Walker Books donated over 700 copies of.

From West Park, an excited procession of children with their families and teachers who were all waving inspiring banners they’d created about their love of books began. Walker Books also provided Timmy Failure masks and a banner with the motto, ‘Reading Leads the Way to Greatness’ which fronted the parade alongside the world’s oldest married couple and Girlington residents Karam and Kartari Chand, the Lord Mayor and other dignitaries including local ward councillors and senior police officers.

Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Mike Gibbons, said:
“Everyone has enjoyed themselves immensely - it’s been fantastic to see so many smiling faces and colourful banners spreading such important messages about the joy of reading. Reading for enjoyment opens up a whole new world and helps build a brighter future for youngsters, so a parade in Bradford which celebrates this is wonderful. I look forward to further developing our strong partnership with the Bradford Literacy Campaign.”

Daniel Walker, Girlington Primary School’s Assistant Head, said:
“The parade has been really enjoyable for our pupils and staff. The children are thrilled with their new ‘Timmy Failure’ books and love its quirky humour. Books like this really help encourage reading for enjoyment – so vital in improving children’s life chances.”

Imran Hafeez, the National Literacy Trust’s Bradford Hub manager, said:
“The day has been a fantastic success and has really helped engage Bradford families with the importance of reading for enjoyment and getting them excited about the campaign. Sharing stories with children from an early age is one of the best ways to encourage literacy development in children which will give them the best possible start in life.”