Little Book Hut inspires a big appetite for reading at East London school
Dedicated staff at George Carey Church of England Primary School in Barking haven’t let the challenges of the pandemic stop their pupils from reading. In fact, the children’s love for books may be at an all-time high, thanks to a pop-up book hut project.
The school successfully applied to receive books from The Children’s Book Project, a registered charity that redistributes thousands of donated books to children and their families across the UK.
National lockdowns, cuts to services such as libraries and rising living costs have made it more challenging for parents to give their children opportunities to read at home. But the staff at George Carey Primary are determined to support families to have access to books.
“I wanted to make sure all children had the experience of choosing their own book to keep, and it was amazing to see them get so excited about it."
By teaming up with the charity, the school offered pupils a choice from nearly 2,000 books, which they could choose in a special pop-up book hut and take home with them to keep.
Headteacher, Chris Harrison, was delighted to secure support from the Children’s Book Project. He said: “We are so grateful to The Children’s Book Project for choosing our school.
“My thanks go to the charity and to our Reading Lead, Zara Rehman, who worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.
“Reading is at the heart of learning, and our pupils will certainly benefit from this valuable initiative.”
In London, The Children’s Book Project collects books from families that have grown out of theirs and pick the best of them to gift to children via schools and other organisations. The charity then works with staff to create a buzz about the books and ensures that the experience is memorable, engaging and fun for children.
Reading Lead, Zara Rehman, was thrilled to secure one of the 20 pop-up book huts in London, which created real excitement at the school. She said: “I wanted to make sure all children had the experience of choosing their own book to keep, and it was amazing to see them get so excited about it.
“We had a great response from parents, and the whole experience has helped to drive our ethos of reading for pleasure.”
Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said: “I’m so pleased that this innovative project has benefitted the children at George Carey Church of England Primary School.
“Reading is a fundamental skill that helps children to develop their understanding of the world and access all areas of the curriculum.
“My thanks go to the staff for their tremendous efforts to secure this opportunity for our children.”