Our long-term relationship with the National Literacy Trust is one that we are particularly proud of, and so we’re very excited to report that the WHSmith Trust is now embarking on a 3 year project to provide funding and support as part of their Young Readers Programme.
Dedicated to improving literacy levels across the UK, the National Literacy Trust aim to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, particularly in disadvantaged communities. As part of this, the main goal of the Young Readers Programme is to help children develop a love of reading early on; preventing the knock on effect that poor literacy in childhood can have on the rest of a person’s life. 21 schools and around 7, 500 children aged 6-9 across the UK will take part in the project, encouraging them to read with their peers, choose new books to read and share with their classmates.
As well as donating vouchers to participating schools to help boost their library resources and sustain the children’s interest in reading, 21 WHSmith stores across the UK have been getting involved with the project, working in partnership with a local school to showcase the children’s reading achievements and display their book reviews in store. Schools also have the opportunity to visit their local store to see their work displayed and receive an exciting behind the scenes tour. This is a great way for our stores to build relationships with local schools and help them take advantage of the offers and events available.
Walsall store manager, Mike Clarke, and his team recently hosted a visit from one of their local stores. We asked them how they got on.
“The class spent 50 minutes in store and were so excited to just choose from hundreds of books! The free standing display unit with the children’s book reviews was located near to the children’s book department – the children were chuffed when they saw their handwritten reviews out in store! It’s been a really nice afternoon, thanks again for letting us be a part of the programme! The children were all so well behaved (except one who got told off, you might be able to guess which from the photo!) and put smiles on both mine and my staff’s faces. We’re quite lucky in store at the moment as we’re on a 3 for 2 kids offer trial so the school got so much more for their money – so they’re really happy and so are all the children. I think we’ve now got a partner school going forward for things like dictionaries/book events.”
We’re so pleased to hear that both children and staff enjoyed the event at the Walsall store and can’t wait to see more pictures and hear more stories from the events around the country.
Visit the National Literacy Trust to read more about the Young Readers Project and other inspiring campaign projects by the national charity.