London Evening Standard and NOOK have revealed additions to the exciting line-up for the free literary Get Reading festival for children on the 13th July, which is part of the London Evening Standard and NOOK’s pioneering partnership to support child literacy.
Author Anthony Horowitz, novelist Sally Gardner, author Marianne Levy, author Steve Cole, actor Sam West and children’s author Anne Fine join the already impressive list of names from the world of theatre, literature and film, including actor Rupert Everett, a performance from Billy Elliot the Musical, ‘Joey’ from War Horse, children’s TV character Peppa Pig, Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman and actress Niamh Cusack. Alongside this, Chairman and Owner of the Evening Standard Evgeny Lebedev will be reading with actress Barbara Windsor MBE. The famous authors and celebrity storytellers will be helping children to take part in a giant read-a-thon throughout the day. The free event is for the whole family and is open to everyone.
To announce the latest additions, Stephen Fry visited the Jubilee School in Tulse Hill to participate in a reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with the pupils. The Jubilee School is just one of the schools that has benefitted first-hand from the Mayor’s Fund for London investment in the London Evening Standard’s Get London Reading Campaign.
Alongside Stephen Fry’s reading, Pottermore will be donating 1,000 free eBook copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Beanstalk, a national literacy charity and partner of the Evening Standard and NOOK Get Reading festival. Pottermore offers unique ways to experience more from the world of Harry Potter including an entirely free interactive website – Pottermore.com – and the Pottermore Shop, which is the exclusive home of the Harry Potter eBooks and digital audio books. The eBook copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be loaded onto the 1,000 eReaders that NOOK has already donated to Beanstalk, who recruit, vet, train and support reading volunteers in schools.
The London Evening Standard’s Get Reading campaign is designed to help struggling readers catch up with their peers and maximise the opportunities that reading brings. Launched in June 2011, Get London Reading has raised £1 million, including a £500,000 investment from the Mayor’s Fund for London, to fund the training and supply of reading helpers into schools in association with campaign partner Beanstalk. The campaign has already helped over 2,000 London children improve their reading and has also seen hundreds of London Evening Standard readers volunteer their time to go into schools each week to help children with their reading.
Stephen Fry, actor, author and Get Reading ambassador said: “I loved books when I was young and passionately believe that reading is one of the most important life gifts you can give a child. I am so pleased to be able to support the marvellous Get Reading event that London Evening Standard is organising in partnership with NOOK, and hope the immensely talented acts that have been announced so far will inspire children to develop their reading skills and learn to love reading as much as I do.”
Jim Hilt, Managing Director, Barnes & Noble said: “As the excitement builds ahead of the Get Reading festival, we continue to see phenomenal support from authors and UK celebrities, including Stephen Fry, who all share NOOK’s passion for advancing the cause of literacy. In addition, UK publishers have shown their support by donating top children’s eBooks to the Beanstalk charity for use on the donated NOOKs, including the latest generous donation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from Pottermore.”
Charlie Redmayne, CEO, Pottermore said: “Pottermore is delighted to support the Get Reading initiative, including the work that Beanstalk is doing to improve literacy across the UK. We hope that the Beanstalk volunteers and their mentors enjoy reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and immersing themselves in the world of Harry Potter.”