Story-time fun can help boost literacy

Reader development Librarian Stephen Dodd at work in Sunderland central Library, which is soon to hold National Storytelling Week and National Library Day.
Reader development Librarian Stephen Dodd at work in Sunderland central Library, which is soon to hold National Storytelling Week and National Library Day.
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CHILDREN are being invited to go on a magical adventure as part of a series of events aimed at boosting literacy.

Sunderland libraries have recruited professional storyteller Gary Cordingley to help bring tales to life as part of National Storytelling Week.

Gary, who has been storytelling for 20 years, said: “I’m not going to give too much away, but there will be stories about animals, adventures and maybe some magic.

“To be a good storyteller it helps to have a vivid imagination as well as being able to engage with the audience and make contact with them throughout the story.”

Now in its 12th year, National Storytelling Week, which starts on Saturday, aims to encourage more children and adults to read.

Gary will be joined by library staff who will lead a series of daily storytelling events to mark the week.

Gary said: “I think storytelling is helpful in a number of ways.

“It can help to increase attention span through using listening skills, it helps to develop the imagination as it encourages people to see the pictures of the stories in their own minds and, hopefully, encourages them to want to read stories for themselves.”

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for safer city and culture, said: “Both National Storytelling Month and National Libraries Day are fantastic ways to highlight the important role which libraries play.

“Both initiatives are fantastic ways to encourage children and young people to be creative and to enjoy the art of storytelling.”

Coun Kelly added: “Sunderland’s libraries offer a number of services which are easily accessible, and staff are always on hand to support people.”

Gary will be storytelling throughout the day at Sunderland City Library, Fawcett Street, on Tuesday.

He will also be stopping off at Washington Library on February 4 to mark National Libraries Day.

For more details, phone 561 1235 or visit www.garycordingley.co.uk.

Twitter: @sunechochief