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Meadowhall Shopping Centre has hosted a series of reading events to support of the Young Readers Programme; a national initiative to encourage school children across the UK to develop a love of reading and improve their literacy.

Local schools Phillimore Community Primary; Tinsley Junior and Concord Junior took part in the series of events during June, which were staged in the Centre’s WHSmith and Waterstones stores; Vue Cinema and Oasis Mezzanine area.

The events gave the six-eight -year-old participants from Years three to five tours of the stores; story book treasure hunts and an opportunity to use their new skills to select three new books to keep.

Renowned storyteller and children’s author Gez Walsh led an interactive reading session at the British Land owned Shopping Centre, enabling children to enjoy reading out of the classroom, in a fun environment.

Lucy Strutt, from the Inclusion Team at Concord Junior School, commented: “The Children were delighted to be involved in the Young Readers Programme this year, and our thanks to Meadowhall and British Land for hosting such inspiring events.

“Literacy is a fundamental part of any child’s education and it is through interactive, fun sessions such as the ones the children have experienced today that we can encourage more children to discover a love for books.”

Sarah Cook, project manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “Our research shows children are reading less both on and offline. There is the very real risk that younger generations will grow up without basic literacy skills, which is why our Young Readers Programme is so important to introduce children to the pleasure of reading and we thank British Land for its continued support.”

British Land the co-owner of Meadowhall has committed more than £500,000 to support the Young Readers Programme over the next three years.

This year, eighteen British Land retail sites, including Meadowhall, will have worked with over 40 schools, reaching 4,500 children.

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