Local Business Inspires a Love of Reading for Kids

NORTH EAST-based educational furnishings supplier Eden Learning Spaces has joined forces with the national children's centre for books, Seven Stories, in a bid to inspire children across the UK with 'reading for pleasure'. 

The two educational organisations hosted an event with book-inspired learning activities, including interactive story time on bean bags, drama games, group artwork and a tour of Seven Stories’ Gruffalo exhibition. Year Two children from Benton Dene Primary School were invited along to take part in the ‘monster’ themed activities.

The bespoke event marked the launch of the ‘Reading for Pleasure’ learning resource - a free downloadable activity guide created by Eden Learning Spaces, with the aim of sharing ideas that inspire a love of reading with parents and teachers.

Top tips from learning professionals at Seven Stories are included in the learning resource, along with a variety of creative ideas taken from a social media discussion held with educational professionals. The ‘monster’ theme is reflected in the designs in order to help inspire boys in particular - often found to be disinterested with books.

Having worked closely with many North East based education establishments to design soft furnishings for reading corners and libraries, Eden Learning Spaces was keen to share its findings on inspiring a love of reading, something the new curriculum has greater focus on for both inside and outside the classroom. 

Eden Learning Spaces managing director Mark Dolder said: "As part of our on-going research and development we regularly consult with teaching professionals and we wanted to be able to share that, for free, on a wider level.

“We found that reading becomes much more of a desirable activity when you create an inspirational yet relaxed environment. This helps to engage children in learning and encourages creative responses – making tasks such as reading a thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

“This event has been all about celebrating books, and hopefully the fun had today will inspire others to want to explore books with great enthusiasm.”

Benton Dene Primary School teacher Paul Danecki said: “It’s vital that every child finds their own personal connection with books in order for them to want to read outside of school and throughout adulthood.

“Activities such as those explored today allow children who struggle with reading, or who are reluctant readers, to access the joy of stories - as the words and illustrations come to life in a stimulating way. Discussing a story with their peers allows children to form their own interpretations of events, which leads to a wide and varied range of learning opportunities. Fundamentally, enjoyment in reading underpins the core development of literacy, which is why it is so important in Key Stage One.”

Seven Stories marketing and digital coordinator Lauren Regan-Ingram said: “We always try to take children on a journey through books right from how books are created, through to engaging the children in their creative responses to stories. Our learning services and projects reflect our commitment to introducing and inspiring children, young people and grown-ups from different backgrounds to the power of children’s literature.” 

Mark Dolder concluded: “The learning resource is designed as a source of inspiration for helping kids to discover enjoyment in reading at Key Stage One. The ideas inside are all sourced from educational professionals and it’s available for free for anyone wanting to take a look and have a go.”

Full details about the event, activities and the free ‘Reading for Pleasure’ learning resource will be available at www.EdenLearningSpaces.co.uk.