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Books for Schools begins! Start collecting tokens in our £20,000 giveaway from today

A youngster at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya Duncan

A youngster at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

It’s time to start collecting - our Books for Schools campaign begins today.

This is your chance to help your school win its share of £20,000 in books to inspire, inform and entertain the next generation of readers.

The scheme is aimed at primary and infant schools, who will be able to choose which books they get from a list of more than 700 titles.

And the idea has already proven to be a popular one among educators.

So far, 298 out of 364 schools in Norfolk (82pc) have signed up, as have 163 out of 260 (62pc) schools in Suffolk.

West Runton children's author David Bedford. Picture: KAREN BETHELLWest Runton children's author David Bedford. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

The giveaway follows in the footsteps of our successful Sports for Schools campaign earlier this year, which saw £20,000 worth of sports equipment given away to schools across Norfolk and Waveney.

David Powles, Archant Norfolk editor-in-chief, said he was delighted with the support that had already been shown for the books campaign.

Mr Powles said: “We’ve already had a superb response to this campaign.

“The early signs are this will be even more successful than the Sports for Schools campaign.

Youngsters at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya DuncanYoungsters at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya Duncan

“There really is no catch, it’s as simple as sign up, collect the tokens and be in with a chance to win a superb stash of books.”

MORE: Books for Schools: £20,000 of books up for grabs with our giveaway

From today, tokens will appear in this newspaper as well as its sister publications across the region for parents, school staff and friends to collect.

The tokens can then be donated directly to the school, and for every 1,000 tokens collected, the school will receive £100 worth of free books.

A youngster at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya DuncanA youngster at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Four schools with the most tokens per student at the end of the campaign will win a bonus £2,500 worth of books.

Tokens will be printed in the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, Great Yarmouth Mercury, The Lowestoft Journal, Beccles & Bungay Journal, Dereham Times, Fakenham & Wells Times and the North Norfolk News.

And there is still time to register your school for the giveaway.

Simply fill out the form on this page or send your school name, address, postcode and telephone number as well as a contact name and the number of pupils at the school to booksforschools@archant.co.uk.

Youngsters at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya DuncanYoungsters at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Author: ‘Children love to read’

Children’s author David Bedford knows better than most about the benefits children can get through reading for fun.

The 49-year-old has authored more than 80 books, and leads reading workshops in schools around Norfolk and across the world.

Mr Bedford, who lives in West Runton, said: “Reading is really one of the centre points of education, and one of the things that most appeals to me is that if they’re reading for fun, that information goes into their brains very effectively.

“It also brightens them up and helps them in other areas like maths, geography, or whatever subject they’re doing next.”

Mr Bedford said Books for Schools was “a really good idea” to help get more books onto school shelves across our region.

He said: “You don’t have to force a book on a child.

“Children love stories and books any time of day and events like Book Week are among their happiest times of the year.”

Youngsters at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya DuncanYoungsters at Carleton Rode school delves into a book for the launch of our Books for Schools campaign. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Well read: What children’s books are popular now?

Tales of magic and fantastic realms are among the most popular books drawing the interest of young readers.

Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust is currently at the top of WHSmith’s children’s bestseller list.

Pullman’s coming-of-age story set in a parallel world was originally released last year and is now out in paperback.

Also popular is Twice Magic, the second volume in the The Wizards of Once series by Cressida Cowell.

The novel sees a pair of young wizards try to save the Wildwoods from a witches’ curse.

And JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has proven its evergreen appeal and is still at No.6 on the bookseller’s chart, 17 years after it was first published.

Families, friends and fun are also popular children’s book themes, with The World’s Worst Children 3, The Dinosaur that Pooped a Princess and David Baddiel’s Head Kid rounding out the current top 10 list.

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