THE author behind a series of much-loved books about a dragon-trainer was the guest of honour as pupils celebrated a project aimed at firing their passion for reading.
Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, who penned the How to Train Your Dragon books, officially opened the new library at Dinnington Community Primary School.
The reading space has been revamped and improved as part of the “Life-Changing Libraries” campaign Cressida is spearheading to put reading at the centre of school life.
Dinnington Community Primary is one of six pilot schools taking part in the project, with a 1,000-strong selection of books chosen by the Book Trust.
Staff will monitor the impact of the new library on pupils’ engagement, attitudes and reading behaviour over the next year.
Head teacher Sarah Reason said: “Many children’s only experience of reading and literature is what they are exposed to at school, so we feel passionately that this project has the possibility to be life changing for many in our community.
“Finding the right book can be the key to unlocking the world of reading or discovering a new passion.
“Combined with opportunities to meet authors and illustrators, this has the potential to ignite a lasting spark of inspiration.
“We believe that being part of this project will show our community that others are investing in the pupils at Dinnington Primary and reinforce our belief that all children at our school can achieve their dreams.
“Reading is an escape, and I believe that being part of this project will inject the school with the magic that only books can bring.”
Cressida has called on the Government to put primary school libraries at the heart of its long term response to the pandemic with a ring-fenced, yearly investment of £100 million.
She said whilst every prison has a statutory library, research shows one in eight primary schools have no library space at all \a a statistic that doubles in schools with a higher proportion of children on free school meals.
“How can a child become a reader for pleasure if their parents or carers cannot afford books, and their primary school has no library, or that library is woefully insufficient,” the award-winning author said.