Posted: Sun 9th Jul 2023

School children gather for inspiring poetry sessions at Broughton Shopping Park

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jul 9th, 2023

Over 250 school children gathered at Broughton Shopping Park, transforming it into a lively literary hub, in an initiative aimed at promoting a love for reading.

The event, a blend of enchanting poetry sessions and engaging workshops, brought a fresh dynamism to the premises, underlining the significance of literacy in the young minds.

The event saw students from Saltney Ferry, Wood Memorial, and St Clare’s primary schools revel in the enriching poetry sessions led by renowned poet, Dom Berry.

Not just a poet, but also the Glastonbury Festival’s Poet in Residence in 2017 and winner of the Saboteur ‘Best Spoken Word Artist’ award in 2017 and 2020, Dom’s compelling verses have reached audiences from the USA to mainland Europe.

His presence at Broughton is part of the Young Readers Programme – a celebrated initiative co-hosted by the National Literacy Trust and British Land.

“Supporting our community is very important to us, so we’re incredibly proud of the Young Readers Programme and all the local children and families we’ve been able to support in the last 10 years,” said Alan Pruden-Barker, centre manager at Broughton.

This initiative represents the twelfth year of the successful partnership between British Land and the National Literacy Trust. It has helped over 2,658 school children and facilitated the donation of more than 7,974 books across Chester and North Wales.

The aim is to reach children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are more likely to not own a book – a statistic standing at a concerning 9.7%.

The importance of this initiative cannot be overstated. The National Literacy Trust’s research reveals that owning a book not only encourages children to read but also has a positive effect on their wellbeing and mental health. T

herefore, the Young Readers Programme aims to fill this void and support the development of children in underprivileged areas by providing them with access to books.

Head of School Programmes at the National Literacy Trust, Martin Galway, passionately explained, “The right book, at the right moment, can change a child’s life.” He further added, “Our goal is to spark a love of reading that will last them a lifetime, which in turn will empower them with the literacy skills they need to succeed.”

In addition to the poetry sessions, the children also enjoyed a range of activities at various retailers in Broughton, including a hands-on session at The Entertainer, and refreshments at Tesco. The day ended on a high note with each child going home with a book of their choice – a potential first step on a lifelong journey of reading.

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