Swaffham community backs vision for literacy inspiration

Reception Pupils in the planned new Story Garden area at Swaffham Infant and Nursery School.
Cara Butters (Teaching Assistant at front) with at back LtoR, Bev Chapman (Teaching Assistant) and Nicky Stevenson (Reception Class Teacher)
Reception Pupils in the planned new Story Garden area at Swaffham Infant and Nursery School. Cara Butters (Teaching Assistant at front) with at back LtoR, Bev Chapman (Teaching Assistant) and Nicky Stevenson (Reception Class Teacher)

A Swaffham teaching assistant has hailed the “overwhelming” response to her school’s bid to inspire youngsters to read more.

Charities and businesses are joining forces to support the project at the town’s infant and nursery school.

And work is under way to develop a story garden, which officials hope will be ready by the early summer.

Teaching assistant Cara Butters said she wanted the scheme to be run both by and for the school community.

She said: “This project will engage children in literacy, especially boys, through using their interests.

“We are also raising families awareness of the importance of reading to their children. The response from the local community has been overwhelming.”

Among the organisations supporting the project are Advent Homes, who are currently building new houses in the town and are designing and donating a shelter for the garden where children can sit and read.

Local businesses have donated more than 400 books between them, while members of both the town’s Rotary and Lions clubs have expressed interest in reading to pupils themselves.

Parents are making story sacks and helped to raise £482.60 by taking part in a sponsored reading for pleasure at home week.