Literacy-focused charities and organisations, including us, have celebrated Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall’s upcoming 70th birthday by giving 70 primary schools across the UK a set of 70 children’s books and specially designed bookshelves.
The Duchess is Patron of the six organisations involved – the National Literacy Trust, Beanstalk, BookTrust, First Story, Roald Dahl Literary Estate and the Wicked Young Writer Awards. The 70 schools selected to receive the books have all shown they are committed to promoting reading for enjoyment, and many are in disadvantaged areas of the UK.
First Story are delighted to partner with the National Literacy Trust and other literacy charities to celebrate Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall’s 70th birthday through this inspirational project, which will benefit so many primary school students across the country through the addition of 70 titles to their school librariesMónica Parle, Executive Director of First Story
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was presented with a set of the 70 books on the special ‘Duchess’s Bookshelves’ during a garden party at Clarence House this morning (11 July). Pupils from Hemlington Hall Academy in Middlesbrough and Berkeley Primary School in Hounslow joined the celebrations, as well as top children’s authors Malorie Blackman, Lauren Child, Cressida Cowell, Charlie Higson, David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson.
Primary school children and authors travelled to Clarence House in style on a vintage bus, where David Walliams took on the role of bus conductor in a 1950’s uniform. As they joined the party, the children presented the bookshelves and talked to HRH about their favourite books. Guests also enjoyed storytelling with the authors in the gardens of the royal residence.
The 70 titles for the Duchess’s Bookshelves were chosen after primary schools across the country nominated the books they love and would like to give as a present. The list includes a wide a range to suit all ages and interests – from classics like A Bear Called Paddington and Matilda to new titles including Gangsta Granny and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Our Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is passionate about children’s literacy, so what better way to celebrate this milestone birthday than by helping more children to discover the joys of reading with a special set of books. We hope pupils at the 70 schools who receive the bookshelves will be inspired to enjoy reading and read more widely, which our research shows has a significant impact on their attainment.Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust
Many of the books are included in key sponsor Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader programme, which tests pupils’ reading comprehension with fun, motivational quizzes. The books and specially-designed bookshelves were kindly donated by Peters.