A school in Fenland, Cambridgeshire is now the proud owner of a bespoke library that will house more than 1,000 brand new books thanks to an initiative spearheaded by Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell MBE.

Peterborough Today reports that Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon, formally opened the library at Benwick Primary School on Thursday 24 June. The author teamed up with the school as part of a project to transform school libraries.

Headteacher Clare Talbot said the children have been blown away by the library that has come complete with new furniture and a dedicated piece of artwork created by Cowell to mark the project, which has seen six very different primary schools chosen to benefit.

The initiative aims to showcase the transformative impact that a well-funded primary school library can have on the opportunities for children alongside the vast inequality that children across England currently face.

The ‘Life-changing Libraries’ initiative aims to develop a culture of reading for pleasure and has the support of the Books Trust.

The headteacher said the school had been overwhelmed at being chosen to receive the bespoke library and hopes the gift of the new books will inspire children to enjoy reading.

She said: “We have every kind of book imaginable, we have board books for preschool all the way up to a huge collection of poetry as well as all the major titles - there is every book a child could possibly want.

“The project aims to promote reading for enjoyment. The challenge is to get every child reading and start their journey into reading which is the gateway into so many other things in life.”

Cowell has also called on the Prime Minister to help reverse the spiralling inequality in education by putting primary school libraries at the heart of the long-term response to the pandemic with a ring-fenced, yearly investment of £100 million.


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