World Book Day: Why everyone wants a FRED to read with

Fishergate School’s head teacher Andy Herbert with teachers Ben Allen and Jules Ayed and the books for the reading event aimed at dads

Author Paul Dowswell with Year 9 pupils at St Peter’s School

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YOUNGSTERS from York will celebrate World Book Day tomorrow with a range of activities across the city.

To mark the 17th annual worldwide celebration of books and reading local nurseries, toddler groups, children’s centres and schools across York will be getting involved.

Activities range from guest story tellers to book-themed dressing-up.

As part of the fun, First buses along the number six route from Tang Hall to Clifton will be stocked with literature all day.

Visitors to the council’s West Offices will also be able to enjoy a reading area for families and children where they can listen to stories read by the Early Years team and find out more about what books are best for their youngsters.

As part of the celebrations, nurseries and schools will receive book tokens to distribute to the children and young people, which they can exchange for a range of books at local shops.

Schools taking part in festivities in York include St Peter’s and Fishergate Primary School.

In addition to tomorrow’s event the council is already working with children in some of York’s most deprived communities to encourage reading.

One initiative is urging fathers to take a more active role in children’s development through regular reading, FRED or Fathers Reading Every Day encourages dads to spend 15 minutes a day for two weeks reading with their children, then 30 minutes a day for the next two weeks.

Each father documents the amount of time spent reading to their children and the number of books read, with a special event at the end of the four weeks to celebrate their achievements.

Coun Janet Looker, cabinet member for education, said: “Studies show just how important it is for young children to have positive male role models.

“We already have some great dads, teachers, care workers and volunteers in York and this initiative is about celebrating the work they do and encouraging other men to get involved.”

Schools, children’s centres and day care providers across the city have been invited to join FRED.

Anyone who has a child aged two to four-years-old and would like to get involved in the initiative should contact their local children’s centre for more information.

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