MORE than 2,000 children from schools across Selby will take part in the town’s first Children’s Reading Festival.

The event, organised by local author Christina Gabbitas, will span three days in March at Selby Abbey, including a family day on Saturday, March 25.

So far, more than £18,000 has been allocated to the project by UnLtd, Councillor Mike Jordan and Selby District Council’s Southern and Western CEFs, the Arts Council and Chris Hailey-Norris of Selby AVS, and some of the funding will be used to buy free books for some of the children from eight schools around the town.

Christina, who was shortlisted in the Person with a Purpose category in the Northern Power Women Awards, said: “England ranked the bottom of the table in the developed world in 2016 for literacy, age 16-19 year olds.

“I feel we need to concentrate on children of primary age to try and engage them in earlier years.

“I want to take children’s reading festivals into towns and areas, to give children from all backgrounds an equal opportunity of attending a book related event.

“It is my intention to take the festivals into different areas and regions of England.”

All 42 schools in the Selby district will be sent information inviting children and their families to attend the family day free of charge, but organisers are still looking for more funding for free books.

All children and families with a Selby District postcode will be able to attend free of charge to gain entry and attend author events on the Saturday.

Full details of the event and booking can be found at