A firm of shipping specialists has become the first business to back a project aimed at enhancing literacy skills in rural primary schools.
Telford-based Global Freight Services Ltd is sponsoring the Rural Schools Write Read Inspire Project which will take place this June.
The week-long initiative founded by award-winning Shropshire author Lorna McCann in partnership with The Rural Charity is designed to boost children’s reading and writing skills by providing fully-funded author visits and creative workshops in small schools across the county.
Over the course of five days from June 10 to June 14, Lorna, along with two other children’s authors – Sarah Griffiths and Jude Lennon – will help to inspire a love of reading and writing among pupils through storytelling sessions and creative workshops.
They will speak to children about their work, the challenges they face when writing and what it’s like to be an author.
Anton Gunter, Managing Director of Global Freight, said as a company it was committed to working with and alongside schools in the area to enhance opportunities.
He said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be involved with this project. It’s a fantastic opportunity for school pupils to meet a real-life author and spend time working creatively with them in the classroom.
“The initiative is heavily focused on inspiring a love of reading and writing among young children in a fun and engaging way and hundreds of pupils are set to benefit as a result of the project.
“There is no cost to the schools involved which is fantastic especially at a time when headteacher’s budgets are being stretched left, right and centre.
“It’s often the small schools which suffer and lose out because of rising costs but this project has been designed specifically to give something back to small, rural communities which is just brilliant.”
Lorna, who developed the Rural Schools Project in 2018 along with Ian Bebbington, chief executive of the Rural Charity, welcomed the support of Anton and his team.
She said: “We are delighted that Global Freight has recognised the importance of this project and the value it will bring to small, rural schools.”
Ian added: “It’s never easy getting a project like this off the ground so having support from businesses means we can reach more schools and involve more authors in the project.”
Core funding for the project is provided by The Rural Charity and schools taking part in this year’s project will be announced in the coming weeks.
As well as enhancing literacy education in schools, the week-long programme also aims to support the creative work of independent authors and coincides with Indie Author Week UK (8 June to 15 June).