North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021



Children’s literacy charity launched in Leeds

Monday 10 May 2021

Over three thousand pupils aged 3 to 6 from more than 40 primary schools attended a live, virtual workshop from their classrooms with author Claire Culliford which marked the Leeds launch of Bookmark, the children’s literacy charity. The workshop based around Claire’s book, Penny Helps Protect the Polar Ice Caps, introduced young children to the threat of climate change in a fun and engaging way.

During the event, hosted by The Grammar School at Leeds and in partnership with Bookmark, the children enjoyed listening to the story about Penny the penguin, learning key words from the story and drawing a picture of their favourite part. The workshop was broadcast from the library in GSAL Primary with a Year 1 class as the live audience.

Sue Woodroofe, the Principal of The Grammar School at Leeds said, “We are delighted to partner Bookmark and support their launch in Leeds. They have a simple vision: they want every child to read. They will provide engaging one to one reading support to those children across the city who need some extra help with literacy which will boost their confidence and ignite a love of reading.”

Kitty Higgins, chief executive of Bookmark added, “We were thrilled to take part in this wonderful event and we are so excited to bring the Bookmark programme to children and schools in Leeds. Reading is a skill for life, but after all of the disruption of the last year, some children really need extra help to build their skills and confidence. We can help schools to ensure these children get high quality, one-to-one support.”

Bookmark will work with schools across the city to deliver reading support, through fully vetted and trained volunteers. The programmes, which have recently been endorsed by the National Literacy Trust, are suitable for children aged five to nine who are at risk of falling behind. During the pandemic, all of Bookmark’s programmes are taking place online but the charity also plans to offer face to face support in some areas when it is safe to do so again.

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