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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Take-away books for schools
Schools are getting vouchers to buy books
Schoolchildren in Swansea are being encouraged to pick up a book and take it home with them as part of a reading initiative by the council.

The Take A Book Home project will provide schools with extra money to buy books which pupils can take away to read with their parents or on their own.

Groups of children aged between nine and 12 are visiting the city's Waterstone's bookshop for the official launch on Wednesday, where they will have a guided tour and receive goodie bags.

Members of the education department will be on hand in the store to read stories to the visiting children.

Swansea council's basic skills co-ordinator Sharon Jones explained how the project came about.

"We have got some schools that we're working with in Swansea in Years Five, Six and Seven and we're very fortunate to secure some extra funding from the Basic Skills Agency.

It's very much to encourage reading as a rewarding and enjoyable experience
Sharon Jones
"We're putting money into books so that more children can be encouraged to take books home.

"So it's a promotion of the enjoyment of reading," she said.

Ms Jones stressed that the initiative was complementary to work already being done to help families support their children's education.

At present, the authority is working with a selected number of schools, but Ms Jones said if the scheme was sucessful and they secured extra funding in the future, they could extend it to others.

Schools will receive vouchers which they will use to buy the books themselves.

Ms Jones said that although they would give advice about suitable books, the decision on what was bought would lie with the schools themselves.

"We're not actually promoting any kind of book or particular author.

"It's very much to encourage reading as a rewarding and enjoyable experience," she added.

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