The SouthGate Centre in Bath has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust to host a free storytelling event for children under five who live in and around Bath.
Taking place tomorrow, Wednesday 12th June, from 1pm – 2pm, children and parents are being invited to the shopping centre to enjoy a collection of tales read by a professional storyteller.
The session will be held in a covered space between Pandora and Pret a Manger and will be interactive, with children encouraged to join in with the stories.
There will also be free face painting to turn children into their favourite fictional characters, and all who attend will be given a book to take away and enjoy at home.
The event is part of the Young Readers Programme, an award-winning initiative run in partnership with the National Literacy Trust and co-owner of SouthGate, British Land.
The programme works to improve children’s literacy skills by encouraging them to read for pleasure.
Guy Henderson, centre manager at SouthGate, said: “We’ve been working with the National Literacy Trust for eight years now, helping children across the local community to find a love of reading.
“Much of our work previously has been through schools but, with this event, we’re able to offer something for pre-school children too.
“Not only will it be brilliant for the kids, it’s a great chance for parents and guardians to come together and socialise too. The storyteller we have on board is fantastic and we can’t wait to see the children’s faces when they hear the stories.”
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, added: “We know that when children enjoy reading and have books of their own at home they do better at school and are happier with their lives, but our latest research shows that 1 in 11 children and young people in the UK don’t have a book of their own at home.
“We’re extremely thankful to British Land and the team at SouthGate for their continued support and for putting on events like these – they can really make a difference and help families fall in love with reading.”