MORE than 3,000 children, parents and teachers took part in the first annual Selby Children’s Reading Festival.

The three-day event at Selby Abbey was set up by local author Christina Gabbitas who said she was pleased to see it evolve.

“The whole event has been an amazing experience,” she said. “I wanted to take festivals into towns and areas, giving children less privileged than privately educated children, an opportunity of attending a reading festival, to show them the huge benefits that books and reading can have, not just educationally but socially and emotionally.”

At the event authors spoke to children, who were given tokens for free books with donations from Selby District Council, Western and Southern Community Engagement Forums and Poems and Pictures Ltd.

Christina thanked the staff of Selby Abbey and all volunteers involved.

“This has been and amazingly fantastic positive event for Selby and one that will be appearing on the calendar for 2018.”