One in three children leave primary school unable to read to the expected level – and one in eight disadvantaged youngsters don’t even have a book of their own.
That is why charities like the Childrens’ Bookshow are so vital.
It inspires children to love reading through theatre performances and in-school workshops with some of the best authors and illustrators in the world.
The Childrens’ Bookshow is partly funded by the Arts Council but has to do a lot of fund-raising of its own. The charity has raised £125,000 towards this year’s programme but has to find another £10,000.
That’s where Kate Arafa comes in.
Kate works for the charity and has been climbing a mountain to raise money.
She successfully tackled Welsh mountain Cardair Idris.
And she says: “A huge thank you to everyone that sponsored my climb up Cadair Idris. We got to the top in murky weather conditions after a very steep climb but I loved every minute of it and have raised, with your generous support, £1,060 for The Children’s Bookshow! Thank you.”
Kate’s proud mum, Shirley Tull, is a partner in the private client department of the Wollens law firm.
Shirley says: “The Childrens’ Bookshow does outstanding work with schools to encourage children to love reading. The new childrens’ laureate, Cressida Cowell, says she will fight for books for children and that ‘if a child reads for joy regardless of socio – economic background they are more likely to be successful academically’. The charity has to do a lot of fund raising each year to balance the books.”
Kate has lived in Devon since she was a young child and attended Torquay Girls’ Grammar and then Warwick University. She now lives in the South Hams with her husband and their three little daughters
This year the Children’s Bookshow will enable 10,000 children to see an author or illustrator live on stage, give 1,800 children the chance to work with a writer or artist in their own classroom and give over 3,500 signed books to children to take home and keep.
The charity will be at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre this autumn. Award winning poet Rachel Rooney will be performing to a full theatre of primary school children and running four workshops in local schools. Each child attending this performance will receive a free copy of her book A Kid In My Class, illustrated by former Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell.