Sixteen primary schools in Edinburgh have opened their new school libraries and enhanced reading spaces as part of the Chase Rewarding Futures school libraries programme. The initiative aims to transform underused reading spaces into places for inspiration and creativity by providing children with improved access to literacy resources. The commitment from Chase is in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, and supported by Penguin Random House UK.
Clovenstone Primary School, Craigentinny Primary School, Granton Primary School and Sighthill Primary School have benefitted from flagship library transformations which place books at the heart of each school, and a further 12 primary schools have received enhanced reading zones including new modular furniture and a diverse selection of books. All schools received Yoto audio book players so children can access stories in a way that’s right for them.
Chase Rewarding Futures is transforming libraries across Great Britain to support children and young people to fulfil their future potential by developing an early-life love of reading. Chase colleagues have been busy volunteering at participating schools to help teachers stock their new spaces with 500 books donated by Penguin Random House UK. In Edinburgh, Chase contact centre colleagues have supported eight primary schools to prepare their libraries for the children to enjoy.
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.
Steven Jamieson, Head Teacher at Clovenstone Primary School, commented: “We are delighted to have this fantastic new library in Clovenstone Primary. We haven’t had a dedicated library space in recent years so, when we heard about the opportunity with Chase Rewarding Futures and the National Literacy Trust, we were keen to be involved. The library means so much to the pupils, and they have been involved in the process right from the beginning. Having this bright new library full of exciting books will provide the opportunity to engage the whole school in developing essential literacy skills through a love of reading.”
Jenni Leigh, Hub Manager Dundee, at National Literacy Trust said: “We know how important these reading spaces are in helping to embed a positive reading culture in primary schools and we are delighted to be working with our partner Chase to bring the high-quality resources, training and activities to pupils in Edinburgh.
"It has been absolutely thrilling, today, to witness all the excitement on the faces of the pupils and staff as they opened their fantastic new space – we know the impact this is going to have on their well-being as well their chances of doing well at school and in life.”
Sanjiv Somani, U.K. CEO at Chase, added: “We're thrilled to see children across our Edinburgh schools thriving in their new library spaces as we know that developing early-stage reading skills has a positive impact on a child’s future prospects. By helping children to engage on a deeper level with reading and literacy, our hope is that this will play a role in nurturing future generations and what they will achieve.
"Chase's presence in Edinburgh is vitally important to us as a business and it's been special to see our Chase colleagues out in the Edinburgh community and supporting teachers in stocking library shelves with their new books. We hope this will give children access to a wide range of diverse resources that will spark a life-long love of reading."
Building on the first year of the programme, Chase Rewarding Futures is expanding its reach to seven new regions and transforming another 156 libraries to support communities with the tools and resources they need to help inspire a love of reading.