Cheltenham Festivals Launches Four New Hubs

Four new hubs for Cheltenham Festivals’ inspirational Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils network of free teachers’ reading groups have launched in Yorkshire and Humberside, the South West, the East Midlands and the North West.

New partners in these areas are Bradford Literature Festival; KEAP (The Writers’ Block); National Literacy Trust and The Reader who will start their reading groups in October. They join regional partners in four other areas: Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in London; Just Imagine in the East of England; Peters in the West Midlands; Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books in the North East; plus Cheltenham Festivals in Gloucestershire.

Within two weeks of launching across the eight regions the scheme is already 60% subscribed; while existing partners Seven Stories have allocated all their available spaces even before the promotional leaflets have been sent out.

Debut author Kirsty Applebaum’s book The Middler was one of five books studied this academic year by more than 100 teachers across the country. She said: “There is something very special about the books we read when we are children – they embed themselves into our hearts and sprinkle magic over the rest of our lives. I was overjoyed, then, when my debut children’s novel was selected for the Cheltenham Festivals’ Reading Teachers=Reading Pupils 2019/20 – and my joy only increased as I discovered what an amazing programme this is. I have been moved to tears on more than one occasion by testimonials from teachers who, through RT=RP, have developed a love of reading and been empowered to pass that love of reading on to their pupils. It is an immense honour for my very first book to be part of this RT=RP magic.”

Catherine Stokes, Head of UK and Export Sales and Marketing at children’s publisher Nosy Crow said: “Reading Teachers=Reading Pupils is brilliant, engaging and impactful. The programme has added huge support to our incredibly talented debut author Kirsty Applebaum and has facilitated and empowered her to engage directly with readers. RT=RP is opening up a brand-new network of influential champions who are passionate about sharing new, exciting and, very possibly, previously undiscovered books with children and their parents, the value of which cannot be underestimated as a children’s publisher.”

Books studied this year are The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum, The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Rauf, Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay, The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd and Mirror by Jeannie Baker.

Cheltenham Festivals was awarded a grant of £127,608 from Arts Council England to expand its Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils programme nationally. A further four partners are set to come on board in academic year 2021/22, with the aim of supporting around 400 teachers and reaching nearly 29,000 children in every part of the UK by 2022.

Reading Teachers=Reading Pupils is supported by Arts Council England, The Thirty Percy Foundation, The Summerfield Charitable Trust and The Unwin Charitable Trust.



About Cheltenham Festivals

Cheltenham Festivals is a charity which produces innovative, world-class content across science and the arts. Its participation programmes reach out year-round and culminate at the internationally-acclaimed JazzScienceMusic and Literature Festivals.


About the Partners

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is an independent UK charity dedicated to raising the literacy achievement of children by putting quality literature at the heart of all learning. It is a charity with a national and international reputation for providing excellent literacy training and resources for primary schools, based on extensive research and best practice.

Peters is the UK’s leading specialist book supplier to schools, academies, public libraries and school library services. It has a team of Librarians and Curriculum Specialists and an unrivalled showroom in central Birmingham holding over 40,000 individual fiction and non-fiction children’s titles. Peters are proud sponsors of the Great School Libraries campaign and are the official book suppliers for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards and the Read for Empathy book collections.

Just Imagine was established in 2010 by Nikki Gamble, a former teacher, university lecturer and writer. The consultancy works extensively with schools in the UK and internationally to develop outstanding reading and writing schools, where stories and literature are placed firmly at the heart of learning.

Seven Stories is The National Centre for Children’s Books – the only place in Britain dedicated to saving, celebrating and sharing our rich literary heritage for children. Seven Stories’ home is a carefully converted listed warehouse in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England. The museum opened in 2005 and visitors can explore seven floors of galleries, creative spaces, a specialist children’s bookshop and a café.

Bradford Literature Festival began in 2014 to create a cultural and literary extravaganza celebrating the written and spoken word. The festival curates an atmospheric blend of voices, combining the work of leading writers, performers and poets with emerging talent. In 2019, over 400 events took place across 10 days, capturing the hearts and imaginations of more than 50,000 people.

KEAP (The Writers Block) is an arts education charity set up in 2001 by Arts Council England in partnership with Cornwall Council. Working closely with artists, performers and writers, KEAP creates immersive experiences for primary and secondary schools, education providers, community groups and a wide range of cultural organisations. The Writers’ Block is an immersive, creative writing space on the Cornwall College campus in Camborne.

National Literacy Trust is dedicated to improving the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of those who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life. The charity runs Literacy Hubs and campaigns in communities where low literacy is seriously impacting people’s lives; supports nurseries, schools and colleges to deliver outstanding literacy provision; and campaigns to make literacy a priority for politicians, businesses and parents. The charity’s research and analysis make it the leading authority on literacy in the UK.

The Reader is a national charity that wants to bring about a Reading Revolution, so that everyone can experience and enjoy great literature. Through a growing movement of 1,000 volunteers and partners, it brings thousands of people together each week to share and discuss great novels, short stories and poems.

Bairbre Lloyd

PR and Communications Manager

T: 01242 537284  M: 07729 396749

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