Pupils and staff at Belmont Grosvenor school are hoping to spread some Christmas cheer and share the joy of reading with hundreds of children across the region.
The school has donated more than 500 books to Bradford Stories, the literacy campaign from the National Literacy Trust and Bradford Council which aims to improve literacy levels in the city by promoting reading, writing, speaking and listening.
The haul of books, ranging from babies’ first picture books, to simple readers, topic books and young teenage novels, will be gifted to children across the Bradford area, through the National Literacy Trust campaign, many of whom don’t own a single book.
This week, school staff travelled to Bradford to deliver the boxfuls of books to the Bradford Stories storeroom in the city.
Imran Hafeez, manager of Bradford Stories, said he was delighted to receive the donation of books and pledged to deliver them to families across the city who need them most.
Imran Hafeez, manager of Bradford Stories, said:
Last Christmas, before the pandemic, we found that more than 5,000 children in Bradford don’t own a single book and our fear is that with the closures of libraries and lockdown restrictions, this number will have increased.
We are continuing to reach out into our communities through partners and volunteer Literacy Champions with the gift of books and we are aiming to distribute over 10,000 by Christmas this year. This kind donation from Belmont Grosvenor School allows us to fulfil this task during a very difficult time.
We hope to bring the joy of reading to many children who otherwise wouldn’t have a book.
Jo Henderson, who runs the nursery at Belmont Grosvenor School, said the entire school community was delighted the book donation to Bradford Stories can help spread a little joy at Christmas.
Jo Henderson said:
All our children here at Belmont Grosvenor School and Magic Tree Nursery are lucky enough to have access to books, and to benefit from the joy and escapism that reading, and being read to, brings.
We hope that by donating some of our school’s books to Bradford Stories we can help, in some small way, improve the lives of children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds. We know the books will be distributed to those who need them most and we hope that brings some happiness over the festive season.
Mr Hafeez said as well as handing out the Belmont Grosvenor School books before Christmas, Bradford Stories operates a number of other community-based projects to tackle low-literacy levels in some of the city’s most disadvantaged wards.
These include the Bradford Schools Literacy Project, working with 53 schools across the city to improve literacy and running a team of Literacy Champion volunteers who support and inspire their local communities to engage with reading and writing.