IN celebration of National Storytelling Week (1st-8th February), intu Lakeside today (Feb 3rd) announced its commitment to promoting literacy throughout 2014 through a partnership with the National Literacy Trust.
With 15 out of 21 local state funded schools in the region falling below the England average for expected progress in reading, the shopping centre’s aim is to encourage more parents to read with their children through book donations and by bringing stories to life with engaging, free family events.
Every school holiday, intu Lakeside will run free events with a focus on reading and storytelling for families to attend together; each month the shopping centre will also host free story days in centre and hundreds of books will be donated to children in the region who need them the most.
Izzie Peskett, intu Lakeside’s Marketing Manager, says, “We are partnering with the National Literacy Trust this year to improve literacy levels in our local area and get more parents and children reading together. Literacy is something that affects everyone and we believe every child should be given the best possible introduction to reading as it is such a big part of everyday life at every age.
“With so many of our shoppers being parents, it’s incredibly important to support them as much as we can, whether that’s by running free events that they can enjoy with their children (with a focus on reading together), or donating much needed books that can make a real difference.”
Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council and portfolio holder for education, said: “This is a fabulous campaign and supports the delivery of our top priority to raise educational attainment and give our children the best possible start in life. Literacy is integral to this and this campaign reaches out to communities and children, bringing parents and children together to read and develop essential skills. Businesses play a pivotal role in the life of the borough and I applaud intu Lakeside for this initiative.”
intu Lakeside’s literacy events programme will launch during February half term (17th-21st), with a special one-off appearance from celebrity dad and children’s author David Walliams. The celebrity storytelling session will be an exclusive event for 50 parents and their children who must be members of intu Lakeside’s kids club, which is free to join and parents can sign up their children at any time.
For more information about intu Lakeside’s year of reading together, please visit www.intulakeside.co.uk.