SAINSBURY’S stores are asking customers to hand in good quality books to stock up local school libraries as part of The News’ literacy campaign Read All About It.
The supermarket giant’s Farlington, Portsmouth and Broadcut superstores hope to collect thousands of brand new or good quality second hand books that will go straight back into schools for children to enjoy.
It is a fantastic boost for our campaign to improve reading across the region.
And the scheme has already struck a chord with youngsters at Medina Primary in Cosham who say they are looking forward to replenishing their library with lots of exciting new reads.
Lillie Faust, 10, said: ‘We’ve got a good library at school but you can never have enough books!
‘I love reading and my parents encouraged me from a very young age. My dad bought me a Kindle and I’ve got loads of books on it.’
Thomas Barnes, 10, said: ‘People chuck their books away or leave them on shelves never to be read again.
‘Hopefully now they’ll hand them in so we can enjoy them too.’
From today, people can donate books at the customer services desks of the three stores that will have specially marked boxes. Books will be sorted according to ages and genres.
More than 100 local schools will be able to apply for a share of those collected.
Medina pupil Syeda Akthar, 10, added: ‘Reading is so important because it helps you write, and maybe one day we’ll be writing the books that are on the shelves here.
‘The nice thing about what Sainsbury’s is doing is that it will introduce us to books we’d never have thought of!’
Lesley Powell, of the Farlington store, said: ‘Literacy is so important – the ability to read well inspires imaginations and gives children a thirst for knowledge. I hope we get thousands of books for our schools and give them a new breadth of literature for their children to benefit from.
‘This could have a fantastic ripple effect of reading throughout the community.’
Irene Hilliar, from the Portsmouth store in Commercial Road, added: ‘Schools are doing a great job and we’re doing our bit to support them.
‘We’ve all got a responsibility to help our next generations develop into strong readers so they can go on to be successful in life.’
Schools who want to register their interest should email Lesley at email@example.com.
DON’T FORGET TO DO A DICKENS
SIX top authors have joined forces with The News to set an exciting writing competition.
Ali Sparkes, Sophie McKenzie, Steve Cole, Mark Robson, Guy Bass and Andy Briggs are challenging youngsters to Do A Dickens.
They have each submitted opening paragraphs set in the Victorian period – which primary and secondary schoolchildren are invited to choose from to write 1,000 word short stories.
The winning stories will be published in The News – and read out on our website by the author whose paragraph they use.
Ali, who wrote the popular Shapeshifter series, said: ‘Dickens was fantastic at conveying an amazing amount of information wrapped up in fabulous description.
‘It’s a hard act to follow!’
Steve, author of The Astrosaurs, said: ‘How very apt and lovely it would be for a modern day Dickens to emerge from Portsmouth!’
For details on how to enter the competition before the July 1 deadline, visit portsmouth.co.uk/news/campaigns/read-all-about-it
OUR Read All About It campaign marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth by encouraging youngsters to love reading.
For us it’s about the three Ls - learning to read, loving reading and libraries.
We’re supporting a host of events throughout the year to spread the reading bug.
And we’ve asked schools to sign up to a pledge to boost literacy.
These include letting us know how the performance of pupils has improved over the course of the campaign and nominating ‘best readers’ in schools.
To find out more about how to take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (023) 9262 2131.