Children vie for story time prize

Priscilla Lamont, author of Hodge Podge Lodge.

Kent youngsters will redouble their reading and green travel efforts this month in a bid to win a celebrity story time with an eco theme.

The prize is a visit from Priscilla Lamont, Faversham-based author and illustrator of Hodge Podge Lodge, a charming children’s tale highlighting the problems of careless littering.

Her visit will include a reading to the school followed by a drawing and discussion workshop with the winning class.

The double challenge is open to schools signed up to the reading reward scheme Buster’s Book Club or the KM Walk to School campaign, both run by educational charity, the KM Charity Team.

On the contest date of Wednesday, May 8, classes will compete to achieve the best or most improved number of home reading minutes or number of green journeys to school.

The challenge comes during the KM Year of Reading campaign, which suggests a range of activities to encourage the entire Kent community to foster a love of books and literacy.

Simon Dolby, chief executive of the KM Charity Team, said: “We are so grateful to Priscilla for becoming a VIP storyteller. The winning class will be enchanted by her beautifully-illustrated light-hearted tale. Plus, its environmental theme makes it the ideal story for this double challenge.”

Ms Lamont has illustrated more than 40 books for children for a variety of authors including Harry Secombe, Adrian Mitchell, Julia Jarman, Michael Rosen, and Hilary McKay.

She joins two other celebrity storytellers for the contest making it a trio of prizes up for grabs. Rosie Duffield, Labour MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, and Amicia de Moubray, author of 20th Century Castles in Britain, will also deliver story time sessions to the classes with the most impressive reading and walking to school results.

Organisations backing the KM Charity Team’s green travel and literacy work with schools include Kent Community Foundation, Golding Vision, Orbit South, Specsavers, Leeds Castle, Rotary, Acorns Read and Grow, Crown Foundation, The Gibbons Trust, Whites Transport, Ashford International Hotel, Volker Highways, Countrystyle Recycling, Eurostar, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whitefriars, Gatwick Airport, The Ernest Cook Trust, Little Cheyne Court, and the Kent, Medway, Maidstone, Ashford and Bexley councils.

The charity’s KM Walk to School campaign includes Super Wow (Walk on Wednesday) and Green Footsteps. Both schemes, along with Buster’s Book Club, work by motivating whole classes to achieve together. Each week, they compete for the Class of the Week Trophy for reading or green travel. Prizes for monthly inter-school challenges have included tickets to leisure attractions, storyteller sessions, theatre workshops, and falconry experiences.

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