Abbotsmede Community Primary School gifted 70 children

Abbotsmede Community Primary School in Peterborough will enjoy a set of 70 brand new children’s books and specially designed bookshelves for the new school year. 

Abbotsmede Community Primary School is one of 70 primary schools across the UK to be gifted the books by six literacy-focused organisations in celebration of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall’s 70th birthday earlier this year.

The Duchess of Cornwall is passionate about children’s literacy and is Patron of the charities and organisations involved in the Duchess’s Bookshelves project - the National Literacy Trust, Beanstalk, BookTrust, First Story, Roald Dahl Literary Estate* and the Wicked Young Writer Awards. 

Abbotsmede Community Primary School was nominated by the National Literacy Trust for commitment to promoting reading for enjoyment through their Young Readers Programme. The school has achieved extremely positive results in the pupils' changing attitudes to reading - they are now reading during break time!

The 70 titles for the Duchess’s Bookshelves were chosen after primary schools across the country nominated the books they love and would like to give as a present. The list includes a wide range to suit all ages and interests – from classics like A Bear Called Paddingtonand Matilda to new titles including Gangsta Granny and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The books have been kindly donated by publishers.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with a set of the 70 books on the special bookshelves at a garden party at Clarence House in July, joined by top children’s authors Malorie Blackman, Lauren Child, Cressida Cowell, Charlie Higson, David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson.

Many of the books are included in key sponsor Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader programme, which tests pupils’ reading comprehension with fun, motivational quizzes. The specially-designed bookshelves were donated by Peters.

National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas said:

“Our Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is passionate about children’s literacy, so what better way to celebrate this milestone birthday than by helping more children to discover the joys of reading. We hope the Duchess's Bookshelves will inspire even more pupils at Abbotsmede Community Primary School to enjoy reading and read more widely, which our research shows has an important impact on their attainment.”

Teacher from Abbotsmede Community Primary School Mhairi Park said:

“The books are amazing! The children love them. We are currently setting up a special Year 6 reading area for the Duchess’s bookshelves and sofas for the children to read the books on. We are calling it 'Starbooks'. Once it's all set up we will be allowing children to borrow the books and take them home to read if they wish to. The children feel very lucky that they have been given so many wonderful books to read and I think most of the adults want to read them too. Thanks again for this wonderful gift.”

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