Trust hides 50 books across Suffolk towns
- Credit: National Literacy Trust
Dozens of free books have been hidden across Debenham and Stowmarket as part of a project to improve literacy in the county.
The scheme is called Look for a Book and it is being carried out by the National Literacy Trust, which has just begun a ten-year commitment to operating in Suffolk.
This comes as attainment gains in Suffolk have plateaued, with the percentage of children achieving what the Trust describes as a "good level of development" falling below the national average.
Sarah Maidment, who worked on the scheme for the National Literacy Trust, said: "On Tuesday we hid loads of books around Debenham — the idea is to get families outside looking for a book they can keep or hand on.
"This time around, we chose a whole mix of books: picture books, cardboard books, young adults books and even adults books.
"The books are brand new, donated by the publishers. They're all high-quality titles that people would buy from a bookstore or get out of a library.
"This approach has been used in other areas, and Look For A Book is always extremely popular with families.
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"There's no barrier to entry and it is good for wellbeing as it gets families outside."
Ms Maidment continued: "On this particular occasion, we hid 50 books across the settlements of Stowmarket and Debenham, but this is only a small part of what we do.
"Following our launch in Stowmarket we did a consultation and people told us things they'd like to see including book clubs, workshops, and community markets.
"These events will all be free and promoted on the Literacy Trust's Facebook page."
The National Literacy Trust is working with Suffolk County Council to achieve three main priorities.
Ms Maidment said: "We want to increase parental engagement in education, especially in the early years.
"We're also trying to support wellbeing through literature— there's a proven link between literature and wellbeing.
"We also aim to raise aspirations, improve employability skills and increase children's sense of self-belief that they can do what they want to do.
"The main barrier is just having enough people to hide the books. We are really reliant on volunteers in rural areas."