Three primary school libraries in Dundee have become the latest to benefit from the Chase Rewarding Futures school libraries transformation programme. A further 21 schools have enhanced their libraries to revive their current reading spaces as a place for inspiration as part of the initiative.
Underused areas in St Fergus Primary School, SS Peter and Paul’s Primary School, and Clepington Primary School have been transformed into spaces that put reading and access to books at the heart of each school. The commitment from the digital bank Chase is in partnership with the National Literacy Trust and supported by Penguin Random House UK.
The Chase Rewarding Futures initiative aims to encourage a culture of reading for pleasure as research has revealed that children who are the most engaged with literacy are three times more likely to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than children who are the least engaged.
The flagship library transformations include new furniture making the spaces welcoming and comfortable, a bespoke mural to inspire imagination and creativity, plus each library has benefitted from 400 new books, e-readers and audio books so children can access stories in a way that’s right for them. The enhanced libraries receive a storage unit of books, beanbags and cushions and some wall stickers to further enrich their library offering.
Beyond the reading space transformations, teachers at the schools will benefit from access to bespoke training to support the development of a strong reading culture, and skills that will enable them to maximise the reading spaces as hubs for imagination and creativity.
Families and carers of children at the schools will receive support and advice on how to encourage their children with reading outside the classroom, as well as invitations to special community and school literacy events including author readings.
Jenna Forteath, Literacy Lead and Class Teacher at Clepington Primary School, commented: “Clepington is thrilled and grateful to have been chosen as a flagship school as our library was in desperate need of a transformation due to limited space and reading materials on offer. Chase Rewarding Futures has enabled us to create a welcoming and inspiring reading space for all. The range of new books and resources gifted to us will give children the right opportunities to find a passion for reading, and the resources the programme has equipped us with will allow our literacy impact to reach across our school community.”
Jenni Leigh, National Literacy Trust’s Hub Manager for Dundee, continued: “It’s another special milestone for the Chase Rewarding Futures initiative as we see the latest schools in Dundee start to benefit from the library transformations. By supporting the next generation to develop a love for reading, we hope to instil early stage reading skills that can change the future prospects of children – ultimately unlocking their true potential.”
Deborah Keay, Chief Marketing Officer of Chase in the UK, added: “We know that developing early-stage reading skills has a positive impact on a child’s future prospects, so we’re proud of the work we’re doing with the National Literacy Trust to create welcoming and inspiring reading spaces in schools. Research has shown how important and beneficial reading can be for a child’s mental wellbeing. By helping children to engage on a deeper level with reading and literacy, our hope is that our work plays a role in nurturing healthier and happier future generations.”
The Chase Rewarding Futures school library programme, which launched in December 2021, is transforming 150 primary school libraries across Great Britain, 24 of which are in Dundee. Chase’s initial £1m commitment to children’s literacy will improve access to books and reading materials, reaching around 35,000 children in underserved communities across seven key areas: Dundee, Doncaster, Newport, Suffolk, London, Nottingham, and Birmingham.