To celebrate World Book Day 2019, Downing Street opened its doors to 30 schoolchildren to ‘share a story’ and celebrate the importance of reading.
The children, aged between 7 and 9 years old, joined World Book Day authors and illustrators Abi Elphinstone, Sibéal Pounder, Rob Biddulph and Alex T. Smith, for a morning of reading, drawing and discovery at No.10. The children learnt how to create their own stories using the power of their imagination and were joined by Education Secretary Damian Hinds who read with the children and asked them about their favourite stories.
This year, World Book Day, the charity behind the biggest celebration of reading for pleasure, has issued a call-to-action to parents and carers to read with children and young people for ten minutes on World Book Day and every day. Sharing stories together for just ten minutes a day has long-lasting effects on a child’s future and being read to is critical in igniting children’s enthusiasm for reading.
Commenting on World Book Day and the event at No.10, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“World Book Day gives us an opportunity to encourage a love of reading and a love of books that can last a lifetime.
“That’s why today I’m delighted to support this year’s World Book Day which is inspiring children, parents and carers to sit down, open a book and share a story together.”
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
“Reading isn’t just a vital life skill, it’s a passport to a world of learning and imagination. World Book Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and share our favourite characters and stories and help foster a love of reading in young people.
“Our focus on phonics in primary schools is helping more young children open up the joys of the written word, with 163,000 more six-year-olds on track to be fluent readers than in 2012. Alongside this I have pledged to halve the number of children who leave reception without the early communication or reading skills they need to thrive by 2028 so there is no barrier to anyone enjoying a good book.”
Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association and Vice-Chair of World Book Day also said:
“We are delighted that the Prime Minister and No.10 have supported this event and the World Book Day ‘share a story’ message.
“Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s success and the Publishers Association, along with our members and World Book Day partners want to encourage all parents, carers and children to share a story.
“We welcome the recognition of this campaign from the highest level of government and look forward to taking the message across the UK and Ireland.”
World Book Day reaches 15 million children and young people with £1 book tokens distributed to over 45,000 educational establishments in the UK and Ireland. https://www.worldbookday.com/