Ally Kennen, Somerset based children’s and teen author, was joined by children and volunteer readers from the UK Hydrographic Office to officially open the new library for Minerva Primary School, Taunton this week (Monday 20th March).
Thanks to a £11,400 investment from Taunton Deane Borough Council, Minerva Primary School has rebuilt and restocked their library. The school has carefully chosen books that benefit all young readers and the new layout promotes a love of reading, with seemingly endless spaces for tucking into a good book. The woodland-themed library is bright, vibrant and inviting with the aim of encouraging children to read more often.
To also mark the event literacy consultant Maria Richards, who has been working with the school to help raise standards, donated books for author study.
Staff from the UK Hydrographic Office helped launch the library as they have a long-standing reading support collaboration with the school. Volunteers, who have received specific training on phonics using the Read, Write, Inc. programme, support children’s early reading skills. They spend at least an hour each in school every week and this term alone, more than 30 children have benefited from this scheme.
Head of Minerva Primary Carly Wilkins said: “The new library will provide the very best for the children of Minerva Primary School. The children are going to be enthused and inspired to develop their love of reading, which will in turn support their learning.”
Children’s and teen author Ally Kennen said: “A well-stocked, well-run library is the engine room of a good school. The benefits of children reading are legion and I am delighted to support this wonderful and vital new resource.”
Taunton Deane Borough Council Executive Councillor for Housing Services Cllr Terry Beale said: “The Council is delighted that it could help finance this project. It’s a fabulous resource that provides a wonderful learning environment and will benefit children at Minerva Primary School for years to come.”
Chris Hewson from the UKHO has been volunteering since 2007, he said: “Every child has the right to read, but not every child has the opportunity. Since 2005 the UKHO have supported Minerva School to raise literacy standards by proving 14 volunteers for an hour’s one-to-one reading per week.”
“A new library, offering private space for reading, will create the right environment for teaching staff and volunteers to help children to enjoy and improve their reading.”
Since working with The Redstart Learning Partnership in 2016 the school, formally known as Halcon Primary School, has benefited from new leadership, a major refurbishment to the school entrance, reception area and classrooms, a new name and uniform and the nursery integrated into the school