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News story

We team up with World Book Day to celebrate reading for pleasure with special guest HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

04 Mar 2021

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This World Book Day, the National Literacy Trust and Oak National Academy have come together to create a virtual celebration of books and reading featuring special guest Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

The video is free to enjoy for children across the country via our Virtual School Library with Oak National Academy. Over a quarter of a million children have accessed the Virtual School Library since it launched in January.

Pupils can also access a package of World Book Day activities to help them choose how to spend their £1 book tokens, which are being distributed in schools.

The pre-recorded event shows the joy of pupils from Acklam Whin Primary School, in Middlesbrough, one of our Hub areas, as they received a surprise visit from Her Royal Highness and three £1 World Book Day authors: Tom Fletcher, Zanib Mian and Katherine Rundell.

Acklam Whin has remained open throughout the third lockdown as it supports the children of key workers in nearby James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.

Pupils were able to ask the much-loved children’s authors questions about where they get their creative writing inspiration, what they enjoy the most about World Book Day and which character they’d most like to bring to life.

Her Royal Highness shared two of her favourite children’s books, including:

Swallows and Amazons, which is written by a man called Arthur Ransome... it’s just a really good adventure story.”

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World Book Day is one the highlights of our year. It has a huge impact on reading for pleasure: 3 in 5 primary children told us last year’s World Book Day encouraged them to read more and it inspired over half of respondents to talk more about books with their family and friends. “Our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, has supported our Literacy Hub in Middlesbrough since it was established in 2013. We’re so grateful to Her Royal Highness for promoting the power of a great book, including her involvement in this video. It sets the tone for a brilliant World Book Day 2021.

Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust

Visit the Virtual School Library to watch it now!

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