A token effort will trumpet child literacy

Shoppers can vote for Buster’s Book Club at Waitrose on St George’s Place, Canterbury.

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Shoppers at a Canterbury supermarket can support young readers this month – just by dropping a token in a box.

Buster’s Book Club, the KM Charity Team’s reading reward scheme, is one of the three good causes the store in St George’s Place is supporting throughout March through its Community Matters scheme.

Each month the store sets aside £1,000 to share between three local charities – and customers choose how the money is allocated.

Buster’s Book Club encourages children to read for fun.

They are given a token as they pass through the checkout, which they put in the box of the good cause they’d most like to support. The more tokens a cause gets, the more of the £1,000 it receives.

Buster’s Book Club is a home reading scheme which encourages classes to compete against each other to see who can read the most each week.

Every school has a trophy to give to the best class every Friday – and every month there is a prize for the top class in Kent, such as vouchers for local attractions or a visit from a storyteller.

One hundred schools across Kent and East Sussex have signed up to the scheme, and it has worked particularly well at motivating boys who have been struggling with their reading. Last academic year, participating pupils collectively achieved an astonishing 7.5 million minutes of reading.

KM Charity Team literacy coordinator Kathy Beel said: “A third of £1,000 would go a long way towards supporting local schools which want to sign up to Buster’s Book Club.

“The thing about literacy is that you are giving a child so much more than the ability to read. You’re giving them the key to endless imaginary worlds, to new vocabulary, and most of all, to a canon of fictional characters whose experiences may be both very different and very similar to their own. Reading helps us make sense of who we are and the world around us, and in today’s world that’s something we need to be able to do – possibly more than ever.”

Buster’s Book Club is supported by Orbit, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Leeds Castle, Kent County Council, Medway Council, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whitefriars, Specsavers, Eurostar, Little Cheyne Court, Kent Community Foundation, Planet Ice, Diggerland, Hornby, and Wildwood.

For more information, visit www.bustersbookclub.co.uk

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