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25,000 free books delivered to primary schools across Northern Ireland

Tuesday 15th October 2019 at 9am 0 Comments Literature

Damian Smyth, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, with Carryduff St Josephs pupils ,Muireann Quinn and Conal Caughey, at an announcement to distribute free books to every primary one child in Northern Ireland. Image: Damian Smyth, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, with Carryduff St Josephs pupils ,Muireann Quinn and Conal Caughey, at an announcement to distribute free books to every primary one child in Northern Ireland.

Every primary one child across Northern Ireland is set to receive a free Time to Read pack this Autumn. The delivery comes as BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, commences the latest in its Arts Council of Northern Ireland school author tour series, this time with Marta Altés, author and illustrator of ‘Little Monkey’ starting from Monday 14th October.

The Time to Read packs which include a free copy of the book ‘Little Monkey’ and tips and advice for parents and carers, will be distributed to all 25,000 primary one children to take home and share with their families. With the help of The Education Authority Schools Library Service all schools will receive the packs at the beginning of the Autumn term.

To help celebrate the book distribution, the schools author tour supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will see Marta visit four schools over the course of two days to run reading and craft workshops, designed to inspire, engage and help to create the authors and illustrators of the future. The school involved include - St Joseph’s Primary School Carryduff, Millennium Integrated Primary School, Saintfield, Moorfields Primary School, Ballymena and Parkhall Primary School, Antrim.

Marta Altés, author and illustrator of ‘Little Monkey’ said,

“One of my favourite parts about my work is getting to visit the children and watch their creativity grow! It’s incredible that my book will be in so many homes around Northern Ireland, and I hope that Little Monkey and her adventures in the jungle not only inspire a love of reading but also remind children that even when you're small you can do amazing things!”

Liz Canning, BookTrust Northern Ireland says

“We are delighted to be able to share ‘Little Monkey’ with children across Northern Ireland with the help of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Education Authority Schools Library Service. We really hope the children in the sessions are inspired to get reading and that every child receiving the packs shares a little bit of that magic.”

Marta Altés two day visit is the first in a series of author visits planned for this year, with more schools across Northern Ireland set to benefit from scheme over the coming months. The BookTrust programme is support through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery funds, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary since the first draw in 1994.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“This wonderful initiative is all about inspiring a future generation of readers to enjoy reading from their earliest years, as they set off on their own journeys discovering new characters, places, stories and ideas. Access to books is something which we know supports all aspects of a child’s development and we are delighted to continue our funding for BookTrust’s author tours once again this year, with a copy of Marta Altés stunning book also going out to every primary one child in Northern Ireland.”

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