School’s Novel Idea!

Reading is something you can take for granted, isn’t it? The “People’s Friend” is packed with quality stories and features every week, but what if you couldn’t actually read them? That’s why literacy projects are so important, to offer this simple skill to as many people as possible. Like this terrific scheme that was brought to our attention today by Clare Gilbert, PR for Plympton Academy in Plymouth.…

These are some of the students from the school, who have come up with a novel way to share their love of reading.

They recently visited Plymouth’s Charles Cross Police Station and donated lots of books for people to read when in custody, including a large quantity of our very own People’s Friend Pocket Novels.

The idea came about after one of the school’s teachers, Martin Edmonds, heard a report on Radio 4 about a police community support officer who organised to have books available at his local police station. The results were so inspiring that the school decided they wanted to get involved to encourage basic literacy skills and a love of reading across their local area.

The pupils took up the scheme with terrific enthusiasm and tried to choose something for everybody: adventure books, sports books, poetry and autobiographies; classics by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells as well as more recent books by Andy McNab and Antony Horowitz. And their selection included a whole batch of People’s Friend Pocket Novels donated by DC Thomson. With their larger print, and accessible and exciting story lines, they were felt to be ideal for this community literacy project.

During their visit to Charles Cross Station, Police Sergeant John Livingstone showed the pupils around the custody rooms and introduced them to the health, and mental health, workers based at the  station, so they saw and heard for themselves exactly where the books would be going and how they would be of use. As one of the boys, Luke Vincent, said, “It must be horrible to have to stay in one of those cells for hours just waiting.  At least people can now have something to read.”

What a great idea. Well done, Plympton Academy!

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.