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The Big Give fundraising mission launches to help restock depleted school libraries in five Stratford primary schools





Every donation given for new books for Stratford schoolchildren will be doubled in a week-long fundraising mission.

The Stratford Literary Festival has been given an award by The Big Give to help restock depleted school libraries in five local primary schools. The Big Give Arts for Impact initiative will match pound for pound money raised by the festival up to £2,500 in the fundraising week starting today and running until 26th March.

“Schools are facing enormous financial challenges, and their libraries are often bottom of the funding list,” said festival director Annie Ashworth. “Access to books, especially for the large number of children who don’t have even one at home, is very important for all children.”

We love books …. Children at Shottery St Andrew’s C of E Primary School are more than keen to see more books in their library. Photo: Mark WilliamsonMark Williamson
We love books …. Children at Shottery St Andrew’s C of E Primary School are more than keen to see more books in their library. Photo: Mark WilliamsonMark Williamson

Research on the positive impact of libraries and reading for pleasure has been highlighted a great deal recently in a campaign supported by all the Children’s Laureates, including the festival’s outreach patron. the best-selling author Julia Donaldson who said: “School libraries are beneficial to education and to society as a whole, narrowing the gap in aspiration and ability in children. As Patron of Stratford Literary Festival’s outreach work, I am very keen to support this campaign.”

Money raised and match during the festival’s fundraising campaign will go towards restocking the school libraries in: Bishopton Primary School, Stratford; Shottery St Andrew's C of E Primary, Stratford; Studley St Mary's C of E Academy; Our Lady's Catholic Primary School, Alcester; Our Lady's Catholic Primary School, Princethorpe.

‘We are asking anyone who cares about the value of books and reading to help us raise the money,’ Ashworth continues. ‘Five pounds will buy one book, and ten pounds will buy two, and with the Big Give matched funding that will be 4 books and so on....’

“A school library should be the heart of reading within a school, something which we are currently lacking,’ said Louise Withers, Head at Shottery St Andrew’s. “Although we have been creative with the space available, our current ‘library’ is not readily accessible for all children in the school, limiting opportunities for reading for pleasure, which plays such a valuable role in both pupil well-being, academic performance and vital life skills. This campaign will be vital in achieving our vision and we are delighted to be taking part.’

Donations can be made at https://bit.ly/3T9Q3k2.

The Stratford Literary Festival runs this May from 1st to 5th. Book online at https://www.stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk/



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