This year marks the 25th anniversary of World Book Day where children and adults share their love of books.

Across the city, events are taking place to mark the ‘You are a Reader’ theme as well as sharing the benefits of reading.

More than 20,000 children across Liverpool are coming together to celebrate reading for the fourth Liverpool Readathon.

The fortnight event will run from February 28 to March 11 and is organised by children’s charity Read for Good and Liverpool Learning Partnership.

The aim is to encourage children across the city to take time to read for fun and understand the power of stories.

Read for good logo
Read for Good are encouraging children to understand the benefits of reading

Read for Good fundraising and project officer Holly McSweeney said: “Liverpool Readathon is a citywide event that includes schoolchildren, teachers, and members of the wider community across the entire city of Liverpool.

“The idea behind it is to get everybody engaged and give them space and time to read for pleasure, to carve out pipes and just enjoy reading.”

This year, they are introducing a Two Million Minute Reading Challenge where the city has been tasked to track their reading across the two weeks and aim to read for two million minutes.

At 10am on World Book Day, participants are also encouraged to Drop Everything and Read (#DEARLiverpool) in the aim to show the benefits of putting reading at the forefront.

Funding from foundations including Granada, Pilkington and E L Rathbone will distribute £18,000 of brand new books across the city.

Gateacre Secondary School pupils on Liverpool Readathon - Read for Good
Gateacre Secondary School pupils on Liverpool Readathon

Reading Coordinator at the Liverpool Learning Partnership, Jenny Holder said: “We love seeing the creative ways that busy schools showcase all that they do to support their children in becoming lifelong readers.

“The Liverpool Readathon motivates even reluctant readers to give reading a go, gets books to disadvantaged children – who are experiencing real book poverty – and unites the community.

“We’re already seen as a city of football, music and culture; increasingly Liverpool is also known for being a city of readers.”

Holly McSweeney said: “We hope that Liverpool Readathon 2022 will give teachers and schoolchildren an opportunity to share what they’ve been doing and what they’ve been reading to kind of come back together, reunite and reconnect in the shared magic of stories.

“Liverpool has this reputation as a city of really engaged readers, and that’s why we started there and continued in all the years since.”

Liverpool Book Fairies is part of a worldwide organisation who aim to spread the love of reading through random acts of kindness.

The Book Fairies hide books across cities in the hopes to spread positivity.

Lauren from Book Fairies Liverpool said: “We aim to remind people of just how special a physical book can be, and the benefits such as reducing screen time.

“The Book Fairies Liverpool has always aimed to make reading more accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds which we feel is important as books cannot only offer a form of escapism, it can also help educate and entertain people when they need it most.

“This is why we do what we do and why we think that World Book Day 2022’s theme being ‘You are a reader’ will encourage more children to embrace the act of reading and how influential it can be when building their self-identity.”

Due to the effects of the pandemic, Book Fairies Liverpool are unable to participate in this year’s World Book Day but still want to share the benefits of reading.

The Book Fairies Liverpool said: “In our true book fairy fashion, we didn’t lose hope and continued to offer activities, reading groups, and book recommendations to all of our followers via our social media pages.

“To get involved all people have to do is purchase one of our stickers, place it on a book wrapped in a bit of pretty ribbon and leave it somewhere for someone to find and enjoy! It’s great for people who would like to clear their bookshelves or even for those, like myself, who enjoy making people’s day.”

Holly McSweeney shares the benefits reading can have for children, especially during Liverpool Readathon. Listen below.

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