Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2017: Spotlight on Sainsbury's
Posted by Danielle Wright
13 Mar 2017
Once upon a time, in stores up and down the country, Sainsbury’s hosted a series of ‘Make Believe’ reading corners to mark the 20th anniversary of World Book Day.
Make Believe is one of Sainsbury’s biggest annual campaigns which aims to get children excited about reading and runs alongside World Book Day – the national celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading.
During the week of World Book Day, Sainsbury’s hosted reading corners in 25 of their largest supermarkets, and colleagues invited local schools to take part in the events. They also enlisted a range of authors, illustrators and publishers to help make the activities fun and inspiring for all of the children involved.
It’s not the first time Sainsbury’s has held reading corners, but this year was bigger and better than ever. They teamed up with children’s authors Tom Percival, Rosie Greening and Joe Berger who each hosted a session in their local stores. There were also special appearances from some famous characters such as Peppa Pig and Bing.
Peter Selby, Music and Books Manager at Sainsbury’s, said:
“World Book Day is such a fun event and we really want to inspire more children to start reading through our work with the National Literacy Trust. It was great to be involved in the Make Believe events once again. This year we had a wide variety of books on sale and an excellent range of children’s costumes which really helped to bring the characters to life.”
The week’s fun kicked off in the Sydenham store where Elmer, the much-loved patchwork elephant, made a special visit. Elsewhere, Sainsbury’s in Amblecote hosted a Harry Potter themed activity and colleagues from the Coldhams Lane supermarket ran a session based on Where’s Wally.
One of the highlights was a session led by children’s author, Tom Percival, at Sainsbury’s Chippenham. Tom read extracts from his book, The Spell Thief (from the Little Legends series) to children from a local primary school. Hearing the author read aloud really brought the story to life.
The children took part in a range of activities on the day where they got to draw and colour their own character - sparking their imaginations. They came up with a whole range of creative designs from monsters to mythical creatures. Before leaving the store, the lucky children were each given a book which Tom signed with a personal message.
Speaking about the event, Tom Percival said:
"I’ve always been passionate about promoting literacy and a love of reading in schools. So when Sainsbury’s mentioned their ‘Make Believe’ campaign, I said a resounding ‘yes' before they’d even finished asking if I wanted to be involved. I suppose that could have been a bit rash as they might have been asking me to help re-arrange their frozen food section and I’d have been awful at that! Luckily though, they wanted me to come in to the store and do a reading and some creative activities with a class of children so that all worked out well.”
Throughout the week, schools from all over the UK took part in similar sessions as part of Sainsbury’s wider commitment to raising childhood literacy levels. For the second year running, they’ve signed up to the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge and will continue to work with the National Literacy Forum to help to close the literacy gap and boost social mobility.
Find out more about the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge.
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