World Book Day: Leeds pupils bring books to life

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Some of the best-loved characters from children’s stories leapt off the page and into Leeds as youngsters across the city went wild for World Book Day.

From Goldilocks to Gangsta Granny, the Queen of Hearts, Tinkerbell and Robin Hood, thousands of pupils and staff seized the chance to dress up and bring their fictional favourites to life.

Pupils and staff at The South Leeds Academy were embracing World Book Day.

Pupils and staff at The South Leeds Academy were embracing World Book Day.

And many schools went a step further in their celebration of all things literary – with some children acting out their best-loved scenes while other creative classes filmed movie-style trailers for their most cherished reads.

At Harehills Primary more than 730 youngsters attended special assemblies to watch fellow pupils perform snippets of their top tales.

Headteacher Jo Summerfield, who dressed up as Snow White, said: “It’s all about enjoyment and enthusiasm for reading.

“The children were really excited and as I went round school they all wanted to talk to me about who their characters were from their favourite books and their reasons for choosing them.”

It’s all about enjoyment and enthusiasm for reading.

Headteacher Jo Summerfield

As well as dressing up, pupils at Queensway Primary School in Yeadon picked up new stories at a second-hand book stall, held a special storytime, and each class turned film-maker to promote their most treasured works.

Anne Proctor, deputy headteacher, said: “The children made such an effort and had a fantastic time.”

And little bookworms at Bankside Primary, near Chapeltown, enjoyed poetry workshops and storytelling with Christina Gabbitas, author of the Felicity Fly series.

Now in its 18th year, World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries. And in the UK more than 14m £1 World Book Day book tokens were handed out.

5 March 2015 .......     Iza Umar dresses as a Minnion on World Book Day at Harehills Primary School. TJ100732b Picture Tony Johnson

5 March 2015 ....... Iza Umar dresses as a Minnion on World Book Day at Harehills Primary School. TJ100732b Picture Tony Johnson

But as revealed by the YEP, 1,000 youngsters left primary school in Leeds last year unable to read properly.

That’s why we have teamed up with literacy charity Beanstalk on our campaign to Get Leeds Reading. We want to recruit 50 volunteers to support youngsters across the city. We are also urging parents, grandparents and carers to spend at least 10 minutes EVERY day sharing books with their little ones.

GET LEEDS READING

Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets and supports volunteers to help children who have fallen behind with their reading.

Elena Theodorakopolou, Eloise Sills and Alex Hogarth dress as characters from books for World Book Day at St Matthew's Primary School, Chapel Allerton. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Elena Theodorakopolou, Eloise Sills and Alex Hogarth dress as characters from books for World Book Day at St Matthew's Primary School, Chapel Allerton. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

The charity trains helpers to read with primary school pupils for two 90 minute, one-to-one sessions per week, term-time only.

No experience is required as you will be trained.

You need to commit to at least 12 months in school.

Visit westyorkshire@beanstalkcharity.org.uk; 0845 450 0344 or beanstalkcharity.org.uk.

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