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Author champions books and reading with visit to Fenland school



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Bestselling author Dan Freedman who wrote the Jamie Johnson football novels – adapted into the hit CBBC drama series – visited a Fenland school to talk about his much-loved stories.

Dan, who has visited more than 2,000 schools in the past decade, was at Benwick Primary School to talk to the pupils and learn more about their their ‘Life-changing Library’.

Benwick is one of the six pilot primary schools taking part inthe current Waterstones Children's Laureate, Cressida Cowell’s ‘Life-changing Library’ initiative, delivered in partnership with BookTrust.

Visit by author Dan Goodman to Benwick School. (55158759)
Visit by author Dan Goodman to Benwick School. (55158759)

The aim of the pilot is to showcase the transformative impact a well-resourced primary school library has on a child’s opportunities in life, as well as the shocking inequality currently facing children across England.

Whilst every prison has a statutory library, one in eight primary schools has no library space at all: a statistic that doubles in schools in disadvantaged communities.

Dan Freedman was managing editor for The FA for seven years before becoming an author – his hugely popular series of Jamie Johnson football novels have now sold more than 800,000 copies worldwide and are adapted for TV by the BBC.

Visit by author Dan Goodman to Benwick School..left to right Dan Goodman, Riley and Headteacher Clare Talbot. (55158760)
Visit by author Dan Goodman to Benwick School..left to right Dan Goodman, Riley and Headteacher Clare Talbot. (55158760)

Dan has visited more 2000 schools over the past decade and, just ahead of World Book Day, Dan also aimed to inspire a love of reading.

The event – which was organised by Authors Aloud UK – aims to encourage reading for pleasure, and links to Cressida Cowell’s Laureate Reading Charter, which states: ‘Every child has the right to see an author event at least ONCE.’

Cressida Cowell,the internationally bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series, launched ‘Life-changing Libraries’ with an open letter to the Prime Minister – supported by former Laureates, literacy organisations, and publishing industry leaders – asking the Government to demonstrate their commitment to levelling up the country by improving primary school library provision.

The Children’s Laureate highlighted the shocking reality – and severe long-term underfunding – of England’s primary school libraries with evidence showing a lack of the key ingredients: space, resource and expertise. Whilst every prison has a statutory library, research shows one in eight primary schools has no library space at all – a statistic that doubles in schools with a higher proportion of children on free school meals.

Benwick school's bespoke library was launched last summer with a visit from Cressida and was filled with 1,000 new books



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