Storytelling school

Storytelling magic for schoolchildren in Gosport thanks to a ‘brilliant’ literary initiative

Around 300 young people from Holbrook Primary School, St John’s CofE Primary School and Bedenham Primary School heard the stories of Amanda Kane Smith.

Hosted by Whiteley Shopping Centre, the storytelling events were part of the Young Readers scheme, an award-winning initiative sponsored by Whiteley’s co-owner British Land and in partnership with the National Literacy Trust scheme, which was launched in Fareham.

Students were also able to take home a book of their choice.

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Children from Bedenham Primary School take part in a storytelling session with Amanda Kane-Smith at Gosport. Photo: Tony Kershaw

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Jonathan Douglas CBE, chief executive of the trust, said: “Reading for pleasure is proven to support mental well-being, literacy skills and future success.

“Encouraging children to love reading from an early age can have a measurable impact on the rest of their lives.

“But the sad reality is that six percent of children across the country don’t have their own book to read at home, and many don’t find reading enjoyable.

Children from Bedenham Primary School with their new books. Photo: Tony Kershaw

“Thanks to the Young Readers program and support from British Land, we are able to help more children have fun while reading outside the classroom, giving them access to inspiring books and many benefits they might otherwise miss. ‘

Mia Gordon, director of the Whiteley centre, said: “Supporting local children and their families is so important to us and the Young Readers program is an integral part of that.

“We look forward to this brilliant initiative every year and have loved seeing children from across our community enjoying their storytelling sessions.”

Teacher Holly Bryany with children from Bedenham Primary School with their new books. Photo: Tony Kershaw