Literature-loving youngsters in Totnes are in for a hide-and-seek treat this summer after more than 600 books were donated as part of a special treasure hunt for the holidays.
Primary school teacher Catherine Acton came up with the idea of hiding packs of books around the town as part of a scheme to get youngsters engaged with reading during their time away from school.
Catherine approached a number of local businesses to see if they would sponsor the idea to buy as many books as possible for children to discover in the coming weeks.
Among those wanting to be involved was the town’s Specsavers store, which has given £300. This will buy more than 150 books for children.
Catherine, who lives in Totnes and has two little girls, says: ‘I’ve always had a love of English, so I’m passionate and committed to helping young readers flourish.
‘During the summer holidays I aim to get as many books into the hands of children as I can so that they engage with reading, enjoy the magic of stories and share them with others.
‘There are so many ways to enjoy a book – either by children reading independently, being read to by somebody else or even children reading to children and exploring the pictures in the books together.
‘For this treasure hunt, the children won’t know where the books are. They’ll be put out in random places to be discovered.’
Karen Stone, a director at the Specsavers Totnes store, said she was excited when she heard about Catherine’s idea to keep children reading through the holidays.
She adds: ‘Reading for pleasure is so incredibly important for children. It is fun and entertaining, but it also enables them to learn and develop essential communication skills, which will help them throughout their life.
‘We often hear about children reading less nowadays, and that’s quite worrying, so Catherine’s idea of literally discovering books is fantastic and we’re delighted to help.’
In addition to the book packs themselves, an added surprise will be hidden in 50 of them, thanks to Delphine’s Gelato donating 50 ice cream vouchers to make some of the book packs extra special.
For further information about the book treasure hunt from 21 July to 4 September, go on Catherine’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100093010247793
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