Chatterbooks scheme aims to get Sunderland kids reading more

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An award-winning author was on hand to present youngsters with their reading certificates.

Gareth P Jones joined children from Thorney Close Primary School at Sandhill View Library as part of the Chatterbooks Reading Group.

The group involves 10 sessions giving pupils the chance to discuss books they had read, and to develop their love of literature through discovering new authors and new stories.

Sunderland Library Services and eight schools in the city took part in the national Chatterbooks Reading Group programme.

Author Gareth held a workshop and presented Thorney Close Primary School youngsters with their well-earned certificates.

He said: “Chatterbooks is an excellent scheme because it encourages reading for fun and gets children reading a wider – more stimulating – selection of books than is usually on offer to them.

“I believe we need more schemes like this to keep the market vibrant and remind children, teachers and parents that there is so much more to children’s literature than the classics and their celebrity-penned imitators.”

Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, Coun John Kelly, said: “The Chatterbooks programme is a fantastic way of introducing as many young people as possible to the world of literature.

“Our libraries play an important role in children’s reading habits, and as part of the programme the children visited their local library, became members and borrowed books.”