Shrewsbury Bookfest’s Flagship Project for Shropshire Primary Schools Wins Funding Boost…

Since 2010, the charity Shrewsbury Bookfest has run its exciting Book Award scheme every two years, reaching almost 2,000 primary school children each time across Shropshire and it has become the charity’s flagship project winning plaudits from schools, teachers, children’s authors and the Education Centre at The Guardian newspaper. 

No wonder then that this impactful reading development project aimed at pupils in KS1 and KS2 has just won substantial funding from the Shropshire-based charitable trust, The Wynn Foundation which gives Shrewsbury Bookfest the green light to prepare to launch Book Award 2020.  The cheque for £5,000 was presented to Shrewsbury Bookfest at the University Centre Shrewsbury this week.

The Wynn Foundation supports projects that fulfil a genuine reason to somehow better fellow members of the Shropshire community.  The Foundation exists to support community needs and create opportunities for groups and individuals across Shropshire to prosper.  Small, yet much needed, contributions and improved accessibility to support, learning and technology help to redress the balance of equal opportunities – to enhance quality of life and the pathway to achievement. 

Shrewsbury Bookfest’s Book Award project demonstrates that the initiative is very successful in achieving its key objective of encouraging a love of reading. Over 95% of those surveyed (Book Award 2018) stated that not only did the project encourage pupils to read more than usual but it also created a positive impact on reading generally.

In the Department for Education’s Paper - Research evidence on reading for pleasure by the Education standards research team, the key findings include that there is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes as well as personal development (cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006). That evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment (Clark 2011; Clark and Douglas 2011).  (Source:

Claire Rogers, Trustee of the Wynn Foundation says…..

“We are thrilled to be able to support such a fantastic project.  It’s very clear that Book Award has a huge impact on so many children, inspiring a love of books and reading.  We wish Book Award 2020 every success.”

The project will take place for the 6th time between July 2019 and July 2020. Through a series of book-related activities designed to capture pupils’ imaginations, build their confidence and skills in reading and critical analysis, Shrewsbury Bookfest has devised a child-led reading development initiative with a proven track record of success.  The University Centre Shrewsbury is also providing valuable support and advice to the Book Award project and will host the one-day conference for teachers to launch the project to participating schools.  This conference in November 2019 will give teachers from all participating schools the opportunity to hear and meet leading figures and authors from the world of children's literature and education in order to gain inspiration and share ideas on how to help children develop a life-long love of reading.

Jackie Hampson, Head Teacher of Castlefields Primary School in Bridgnorth says:

“The (Book Award) project encourages children to read novels they would not normally venture into. It stretches the most able readers and the discussions that follow support those children who find reading more of a challenge….. If anyone wants to bring reading to life in their school then SIGN UP TO BOOKFEST now!” 

Piers Torday, award-winning children’s author and patron of Shrewsbury Bookfest has commented on Book Award: 

“...this is led by the children, for the children….they have a voice and a role to play (in the project)”

If you are interested in getting involved in Book Award 2020, please email the Bookfest team at [email protected]