Beaumont has launched a quest to find and reward a young reading hero from Leicester who has gone above and beyond to inspire or help others through books.
Parents, guardians, teachers, families and friends in Leicester are being asked to nominate a child under the age of 11 who they think has used reading to positively benefit others.
Beaumont has launched the initiative as part of the Young Readers Programme, a partnership between its owner, British Land, and the National Literacy Trust. The programme is designed to encourage children aged 11 and under to read for enjoyment in their spare time.
The winner will be chosen by a judging panel made up of multi-award winning local author Bali Rai, representatives from British Land, Beaumont and the National Literacy Trust. A literary-themed prize will be awarded to the winner which will include £100 of National Book Tokens for their school, £50 of National Book Tokens for themselves, plus a copy of ‘My Brother is a Superhero’ by David Solomons – winner of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2016.
Nominations can now be made via Beaumont’s website where adults can submit an entry describing why their nominee deserves to win.
The Young Readers Programme, now in its fifth year at Beaumont saw schoolchildren from Beaumont Lodge Primary School, Buswell Lodge Primary School and Heatherbrook Primary School take part in a series of literacy-focused events. This culminated in a trip to Beaumont where pupils were treated to an animated storytelling session and fun, educational activities with staff from Pet’s at Home. The schools were also given £100 WHSmith vouchers to purchase new books for their libraries.
Children’s author, Bali Rai, said: “As a passionate believer in the power of reading and the positive impact that reading has on children’s lives, I am delighted to support the Reading Heroes competition and I can’t wait to read some of the inspiring stories about local children.”
Simon Revill, Centre Manager at Beaumont, said: “Supporting the local community is something we’re passionate about. The Young Readers Programme is a wonderful initiative that has a real, positive impact on encouraging local schoolchildren to read for enjoyment outside of the classroom.
“We thoroughly enjoyed hosting the storytelling event this year and we’re excited about launching the Reading Heroes competition – I’m sure we’ll see some very worthy nominations!”
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “We know that reading for pleasure is one of the most effective ways to help children reach their full potential. Our research shows that children who enjoy reading every day outside school are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age than those who don’t. With the support of British Land and its shopping centres and retailers across the UK, our Young Readers Programme has helped more than 19,000 children choose books to enjoy and keep. For many, these were the first books they had ever owned.
“Literacy underpins the long-term wellbeing and prosperity of every community, so encouraging children to read for enjoyment is an important step towards boosting literacy levels in Leicester. We’re thrilled to be bringing the programme to Beaumont once again as well as supporting the search for Leicester’s inspirational young Reading Hero.”
Parents, guardians or anyone inspired to nominate a local child as a ‘Reading Hero’ can do so by visiting https://www.beaumontshopping.net/readinghero