• Jazz hands and book fans at the ready, Doncaster Stories has arrived!

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    October 23, 2019
    On Tuesday 22 October, school children across Doncaster were treated to theatre workshops and a mass book giveaway for the launch of Doncaster Stories, a literacy campaign delivered by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Doncaster Opportunity Area.

    The National Literacy Trust works with schools and local communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed in life. The charity brings together key local partners to run Literacy Hubs across the country in areas where they can make the biggest difference to children’s lives. Yesterday was the launch of their newest Literacy Hub, to be known locally as Doncaster Stories.

    Over the next 10 years, Doncaster Stories will deliver an array of fun, exciting and educational projects across the town to promote a love for reading.

    Already, over 7,500 children across 45 local primary schools have been given a Roald Dahl book to take home. In addition to the school giveaway, flurries of local school children have been exchanging golden tokens at their local library for a free Roald Dahl book. To ensure every child in Doncaster can access a free book, The National Literacy Trust has teamed up with local services including Family Hubs, businesses, NHS providers, and libraries to deliver a golden token scheme to children and families. These can be exchanged at participating libraries until 23 November [1].

    Children who own a book are three times more likely to read above the expected level for their age and more likely to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than children who don’t own books [2]. However, in disadvantaged areas, 1 in 8 children do not have a single book of their own. By putting 20,000 books into the hands of local children who need them most, the Doncaster Stories campaign could help many children discover the benefits of reading.
    The launch of Doncaster Stories also saw children from five local primary schools attend Roald Dahl themed theatre workshops yesterday, facilitated by West End in Schools, where children brought stories to life through drama.

    In addition, Doncaster Stories is asking local residents, young and old, to nominate their favourite children’s books to create the ultimate ‘Doncaster 100 Reads’ book list for children in the town. As a bonus for schools, the school that submits the most entries will win a collection of Roald Dahl books for their library, and one lucky child will also win a set of Roald Dahl classics for themselves. The deadline for entries is 1 November [3].

     Mike Leyland, Project Manager, National Literacy Trust:
    “Doncaster Stories is a 10-year, community-driven campaign geared around boosting literacy levels in the town. On average, children from disadvantaged backgrounds can start school with a vocabulary 19 months behind their better off peers – a gap they may never recover from. Over the next decade, Doncaster Stories will work with the local community to build on the excellent work that is being done to close the attainment gap in the town. Anyone can get involved with Doncaster Stories and you can find out more at doncasterstories.org.uk.”

    Beyrce Nixon, Executive Headteacher and CEO of Exceed Learning Partnership:
    “I’m delighted that we at Doncaster Opportunity Area are funding the National Literacy Trust to deliver this campaign. Doncaster Stories aligns with our aims, as we want to provide every child with a chance to reach their full potential in life. Boosting literacy levels, whether that be through getting children excited about reading, or broadening their communication skills, will help unlock future prospects for local young people.”
    Hannah Riley, Campaigns Officer
    020 3994 6799
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