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Pre-schoolers gripped by storytelling event at shopping centre aimed at encouraging children under-five to fall in love with reading

30th July 2016

Story HourA group of nursery-goers have taken part in a magical morning of storytelling at a popular shopping centre this week to encourage them to fall in love with reading.

Prospect Centre has teamed up with drama students from Parks Street Arts Centre, to deliver a theatrical reading of classic children’s books, to inspire children under five-years-old to engage with reading more.

Once Upon a Prospect will be a regular event held on the last Friday of each month. The free event, open to nurseries and the wider community, also aims to stimulate social interaction between local mums.

Lee Appleton, centre manager at Prospect Centre, said: “Working with our local community is something we take pride in and it was fantastic to see the children really engage with the story telling.

“The aim of this initiative is to motivate under-fives in Hull to read for enjoyment as they get older and to nurture a life-long love of reading. We hope to see even more children take part in Once Upon a Prospect in the months to come to help us increase literacy levels and make a real difference to their lives.”

The initiative is supported by a recent report which revealed that children who read every day outside the classroom are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age than those who don’t.

Although the event is open to the public, local nurseries are also being encouraged to bring groups of children to the reading sessions.  Children from Busy Bees Nursery, Caughey Street, Hull, were the first to attend.

Maria Spencer, at Busy Bees Nursery, said: “It’s been a really valuable experience for the children and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I think the reading sessions are an excellent idea as reading aloud encourages social and emotional development for the children, and it links to the early curriculum that we teach which is fantastic.

“Reading is one of the most important elements to a child’s development and to make that experience memorable is very important too.”

Once Upon a Prospect will be held on the last Friday of each month, between 11am and 12pm, at Prospect Centre next to the scenic lift and In Time. Visitors are welcome to turn up on the day but if you would like to make a group booking, please call 01482 324619.

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