Liverpool all booked up for Year of Reading

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Get ready to turn a new page in 2020 – Liverpool is gearing up for the Year of Reading.

On Tuesday, 21 January, organisations and schools from across the city will be gathering at Liverpool Central Library to officially launch a 12-month celebration that’s set to get everyone enjoying the magic of reading.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has designated 2020 to be the year of #LiverpoolReads in a bid to improve literacy across the city.

And everyone will be encouraged to get involved. Whether it’s parents reading to the youngest children to get them excited about stories, or grown-ups who may not have picked up a book since they left school there will be something for everyone throughout the year.

The launch will kickstart #LiverpoolReads and it will be a celebration of the work of organisations and schools in Liverpool which are already inspiring people to spend some quality time with the written word.

Partners working with Liverpool City Council include Edge Hill University, The Reader, Liverpool Learning Partnership, and Comics Youth, a Liverpool-based creative community organisation that supports marginalised young people across the city region.

#LiverpoolReads is also supported by national charity the Reading Agency which promotes the benefits of reading for children and adults across the country.

Speakers at the event include:

·         Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson

·         Tim Quinn, former writer, artist and editor at DC Thomson and Marvel, now of Mighty Quinn Management

·         Tony Lloyd, chief executive of the ADHD Foundation

·         Hayley Butler, head of marketing and communications at the Reading Agency

·         Jude Lennon, children’s author.

Upcoming initiatives will see the launch of a My First Library Card for children next month, sponsored by Edge Hill University, as well as a reading competition backed by Kathryn Jackson, lead governor on the council of governors at Alder Hey Children’s Foundation Hospital Trust.

Construction company Willmott Dixon is sponsoring refreshments for the launch which are supplied by Wirral-based surplus food charity Neo Community.

To keep up to date on #LiverpoolReads please visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/liverpoolreads . And also follow #LiverpoolReads on social media.

Cllr Barbara Murray, cabinet member for education, employment and skills, said: “We’re very excited to be able to launch #LiverpoolReads and we’re looking forward to 12 months of working together with our partners to get everyone’s head in a book!

“We want everyone in the city to discover, or re-discover, the joys of reading for pleasure but, where we can, we also want that pleasure to have a purpose – it is so important to read with children as soon as possible and we will be working with children’s centres later in the year.

“Reading is now a vital life skill that everyone must have to be successful in life – whether it’s using online services or getting texts from friends, and we will be using all avenues open to us this year to create a city of confident, engaged readers.”

Dr Helen O’Keeffe, associate dean in the Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University, said: “We are very proud to be working in partnership with Liverpool City Council to support Liverpool’s Year of Reading.

“Reading for pleasure and a love of reading is central to Edge Hill University’s work with the next generation of teachers and those going on to work with children and young people in our local communities. Reading opens many doors and has the potential to break down so many barriers.

“We know this from experience through the Big Read campaign we run on campus every year where each first year undergraduate student receives a special Edge Hill edition of a book title before starting the university to make them feel welcome and encourage community building.

“We believe that #LiverpoolReads will make a positive difference across the city, it will be a year of celebration and opportunity for everyone, whatever they are reading, and we look forward to being a part of it.”

Debbie Hicks MBE, creative director, the Reading Agency: “The Reading Agency is delighted to support Liverpool’s Year of Reading 2020 because we too are passionate about getting everyone reading for pleasure and enjoying the benefits this can bring.

“We can’t wait to come to the city next week and we will also be back at Central Library to celebrate the relaunch of our Quick Reads programme with a public panel event on 18 February. Quick Reads brings great stories by best-selling authors to less confident readers as well as to regular readers who want to try something new. It’s a great way to start the year using the proven power of reading to change lives.”

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