By Jo Fiddes
A partnership between footballer Marcus Rashford, fashion house Burberry, Macmillan Kids UK and the Literacy Trust has seen the opening of ten fully stocked and refurbished primary school libraries across the UK.
News of the initiative was launched last November when Rashford, via his Instagram account, said: “Having identified a need for safe spaces coming out of the pandemic, and building upon the work of the Marcus Rashford Book Club, I am proud to announce our new initiative to help children in underserved communities unlock the power of their imagination through access to literacy.”
Armley Park Primary’s “Marcus Rashford Library” was officially opened last week. As well as new furniture and a range of award-winning books, the library scheme also provides free training for teachers and access to the Marcus Rashford Book Club.
Emily Caine, head teacher at Armley Park, added:
“I’m delighted that our application was successful. Reading forms part of our school development plan and winning this fantastic prize means that children will now have access to a range of diverse and high-quality fiction and non-fiction books to inspire their both reading and learning in general.”
Rachel Reeves, Labour MP for Leeds West, visited the library last week and said: “The current cost of living crisis means that there are significant financial restraints on many households.
“After paying for food and heating, for some families there is little money left over for books. It’s fantastic that Armley Park have been chosen to host one of Marcus Rashford’s libraries and can therefore help plug that gap. I’ve seen the library for myself, it’s such an inviting space, full of wonderful books and I know it will inspire the children, increase their literacy skills and promote wellbeing and creativity.”