Edinburgh primary pupils take part in storytelling events with Fort Kinnaird to inspire them to read

More than 250 school children from three schools in Edinburgh have taken part in storytelling sessions organised by Fort Kinnaird, with the aim of helping them fall in love with reading.

The events involved children hearing stories from professional storyteller, Amanda Edmiston, and were part of the Young Readers Programme, an award-winning initiative sponsored by Fort Kinnaird’s co-owner British Land and run-in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, designed to encourage children to read outside of the classroom.

During the literary-focussed events, pupils from Castleview Primary School, Niddrie Mill Primary School and Brunstane Primary School also learned how to choose books they will enjoy and were able to take home a book of their choice.

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British Land and the National Literacy Trust are celebrating 11 years in partnership this year and, since the programme launched at Fort Kinnaird, it has supported almost 2,300 school children and seen more than 6,800 books donated across the Edinburgh.

Children from Castleview Primary School in Edinburgh take part in Young Reader’s Programme (YRP).

Research by the National Literacy Trust has shown that owning a book means children are more likely to say they enjoy reading and are more inclined to read in their free time – yet six per cent of children across the country don’t have their own book to read at home.

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Liam Smith, centre director at Fort Kinnaird, said: “Supporting local children and their families is so important to us and the Young Readers Programme is an integral part of this. We look forward to this brilliant initiative every year and have loved seeing children from across our community enjoy their storytelling sessions.”

Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: “Reading for enjoyment is proven to support mental wellbeing, literacy skills, and future success. Encouraging children to enjoy reading from a young age can have a measurable impact on the rest of their lives.

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“But the sad reality is that 6% of children across the country don’t have their own book to read at home, and many don’t find reading enjoyable.

“Through the Young Readers Programme and the support of British Land, we are able to help so many more children have fun whilst reading outside the classroom, give them access to inspiring books and access to many benefits that they may otherwise be missing out on.”