The National Literacy Trust has joined forces with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to launch Stoke Reads – a new campaign to get the whole city reading.
On Wednesday 22 February, local families were given the chance to get involved in Stoke Reads at the intu Potteries shopping centre in Stoke-on-Trent City Centre.
Over 2,000 free books were given out to local children throughout the day, along with advice for parents on how to support their children’s reading at home.
Storytelling performances from Ian Douglas, Dom Berry and Glenn James entertained families during the day, with local author and illustrator Kate Leake also reading from one of her books.
The Little Library Van from Stoke-on-Trent Libraries was also outside the entrance to the shopping centre, sharing stories and introducing families to everything libraries in Stoke-on-Trent have to offer.
Families who signed up to intu Potteries’ kids club throughout the February half term week also received a free book as part of Stoke Reads.
"Thank you for today, my little girl loved storytime and the books are fantastic!" said one parent who attended the event.
As the campaign kicks off, Stoke Reads is challenging the people of Stoke-on-Trent to share the unique and exciting places they read by posting a picture on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Everyone who posts an image with the hashtag #StokeReads will be entered into a prize draw to win prizes including books and theatre tickets.
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said:
“Playing an active role in your child’s reading from an early age makes a huge difference to their future literacy skills. By giving away thousands of books to families at intu Potteries, we hope to inspire them to spend time reading together at home. We are really looking forward to working with parents, schools, businesses and partners to build a city of readers in Stoke-on-Trent.”
The Stoke Reads campaign is part of the Stoke-on-Trent Literacy Hub, which has been developed by the National Literacy Trust and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, delivered in partnership with the City Learning Trust. The Hub encompasses a range of innovative projects and partnerships with local services, libraries, businesses and schools.