Tuesday, the Duchess of Cornwall stepped out for another public engagement, this time, visiting Ivydale Primary School in London to mark International Literacy Day.
The Duchess’s visit was to open the school’s new library and launch the National Literacy Trust’s Virtual School Library. Opening Monday, the library will provide primary school children in the UK with a free ebook or audiobook, an exclusive video, and other engaging activities from beloved children’s authors and illustrators.
On her arrival, the Duchess met with Helen Ingham, Headteacher at Ivydale Primary School, and a group of parents who have fundraised the past three years to make the new library possible. Financially supporting the library, the parents also provided architect designs, decorating services, and sourced book donations. The new library aims to use the power of stories to excite, inspire, and educate not only pupils and staff but the community.Embed from Getty Images
The Duchess met with children’s author Chris Smith, who had his hands full entertaining Year 3 pupils with fun activities inspired by his poem with Greg James, The Hope-o-potamus, which is featured in The Book of Hopes. It was then the students who showed the Duchess around the library, pointing out their favourite things about it and their favourite books.
Research from the National Literacy Trust states one in 10 schools in England do not have a school library. While one in four children did not have access to books of their own or library books during the lockdown.
“School libraries will play a vital role in supporting the literacy, learning, and wellbeing of all children as they return to school after such a significant disruption to their education,” said Fiona Evans, Director of School Programmes at the National Literacy trust.
“Ivydale Primary School’s brand-new school library was the perfect setting for our Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to launch our new Virtual School Library which will ensure that children have access to the magical world of stories all year round. We’ve worked with brilliant publishers, including Bloomsbury and Penguin Rand House, as well as some inspiring authors to ensure that the books and activities in our Virtual School Library will support children’s wellbeing through reading on their return to school.”
The Duchess who has a long standing interest in literacy and reading became the Trust’s Patron in November 2010.