Education Minister gets involved with World Book Day

5 Mar 2009

Welsh Education Minister Jane Hutt, AM will be launching celebrations for World Book Day Wales on Thursday, 5 March, at a Cardiff primary school.

The biggest single celebration of the written word across Wales includes hundreds of events at schools, libraries, book-shops and even pubs from Anglesey to Monmouth.

Jane Hutt said, "World Book Day highlights the fun of reading and the importance of encouraging such a vital skill from an early age. It is essential that children are introduced to the pleasure of reading and learning to help them develop skills that will assist them in the classroom and throughout their lives."

And at Trelai Primary School, Bishopston Road, Ely, on Thursday morning Jane Hutt will see how children across the country are being encouraged to enjoy books and the pleasure of reading on World Book Day.

She will visit individual classrooms to see pupils writing short stories, reading, performing stories and a CD-ROM on a electronic whiteboard, all with a common theme: Wales – its myths and legends, national emblems and heroes.

"We were delighted at Trelai to welcome the Minister to help us celebrate World Book Day, which is always an exciting day in the school calendar," said Mrs Lesley Leckie, Headteacher of Trelai Primary School. "It is a day when both staff and children celebrate their love of books and this year, as our theme around St David's Day is called Cymru am Byth, we are also learning all about Wales."

Across Cardiff many more schools, playgroups and libraries will be taking part, while pub-goers in Blaenau Gwent will be enjoying a good book with their pints at two local pubs – The Hobby Horse in Brynmawr, and The King at Ebbw Vale.

Welsh authors will be holding sessions in libraries – Caryl Lewis at Cardigan and Heather Dyer in Conwy – and poets and illustrators are going into schools and reading groups.

The new national network of reading clubs – the 08 Clubs set up as part of last year's National Year of Reading in Wales – is joining in, too. Co-ordinated by the Welsh Books Council, the clubs are designed to attract young people – and especially teenage boys – to books and therefore to encourage reading.

And as part of World Book Day each of the 50 clubs is being offered a new book for every member – delivered to the club ready for the day.

Every year the Welsh Books Council, which co-ordinates World Book Day celebrations in Wales, looks for new ways to encourage more people to read more books and prove that reading isn't only for book-worms.

"We hope that this year's special events for World Book Day Wales will help increase awareness of reading and the kind of enjoyment that it can generate," said Book Day co-ordinator Delyth Humphreys.

Special resource packs have already been sent to libraries, schools and the early years sector in Wales, giving details of some of the activities that will form part of World Book Day 2009.

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