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Schools Get Set For Scotland's Biggest Book Swap

24/04/2013

ScottishPower Swap Shop reaches out to 5,000 school children to mark fifth anniversary

Children across Scotland are set to take part in the country’s biggest book swap when thousands of kids exchange their favourite stories with friends in an initiative from Edinburgh International Book Festival sponsor ScottishPower.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the ScottishPower Swap Shop - an award-winning initiative which encourages primary school children to read more and recycle old books whilst raising lots of money for charity.

To mark the landmark year, acclaimed author Vivian French visited an Edinburgh Primary School to encourage the youngsters to dig out their favourite books and share them with their classmates. ScottishPower is hoping to involve 5,000 children from across Scotland with five lucky schools getting the chance to win a visit from a children’s author attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at ScottishPower, said: “Swap Shop has been hugely successful over the last four years and we’re really excited about our fifth anniversary celebrations. The project is a perfect opportunity to get schools together, swapping books and sharing stories, so we’re putting up even more prizes this year to hopefully get thousands more young people involved.

“We hope everyone enjoys sharing and reading their favourite books over the coming months and we raise lots of money for a terrific charity in the process.”

Janet Smyth, Children’s Programme and Education Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: “Through our unique access to the world’s leading authors and illustrators, we‘re able to help parents and teachers generate genuine enthusiasm in reading and books amongst the young.

“Our partnership with ScottishPower also provides encouragement of reading and writing skills which are invaluable to Scotland’s young people and we’re able to extend the work of the Book Festival into communities which we otherwise would not have the ability to reach.”

A key aspect of Swap Shop is to encourage awareness amongst school pupils about the work being done by Scottish charities. For the third year, children’s charity Aberlour has been selected as the official charity partner. Aberlour operates across Scotland, providing a range of services, support and advice for vulnerable children, young people and families. All monies raised by children taking part in the 2013 Swap Shop will go directly to the charity.

Karen McMurrich, Aberlour’s Director of Marketing, Fundraising and External Affairs said: “We’re delighted to once again be the official charity partner of the ScottishPower Swap Shop. All the money raised goes direct to helping children and young people across Scotland who need care and support to achieve their potential and live safe, fulfilling lives.”

To be in with a chance of winning one of five author visits, schools are invited to complete their Swap Shop by the end of the summer term.

For further information on registration and taking part please contact Emma Paul at Stripe Communications on 0131 561 8628 swapshop@stripecommunications.com.

For further information please contact Stuart Martin, Stripe Communications, on 0131 561 8620 or 07540 372528. You can also email scottishpower@stripecommunications.com

Notes to editors:

  • Since the very first ScottishPower Swap Shop in 2009, over 8,000 children have taken part and raised thousands of pounds for Scottish charities

  • The ScottishPower Swap Shop is easy to run. Each pupil is encouraged to bring in a book (or books), which they then swap with their schoolmates.  This provides a perfect opportunity to get the whole school together, swapping books and sharing stories

  • It is suggest that each pupil pays 50p per book for the book swap, to ensure that the initiative is as inclusive as possible

  • For the third year, children’s charity Aberlour has been selected as the official charity partner.  Aberlour operates across Scotland, providing a range of services, support and advice for vulnerable children, young people and families. All monies raised by children taking part in the 2013 Swap Shop will go directly to the charity

  • By taking part, schools can be in with a chance of winning one of five exclusive author visits, courtesy of ScottishPower and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The draw will take place during the summer and the author visit will take place during the Autumn term

  • The Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Schools Programme runs from 19-27 August 2013 and the brochure is available to download from the Book Festival  website at https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/education

About Vivian French

Vivian was first published in 1990, a natural progression after careers in the theatre, in counselling and in storytelling. Since then, she has established an enviable reputation as a writer of integrity and imagination, a writer illustrators love to work with, and a writer her readers want to meet.

Despite publishing well over 200 titles including ‘The Tales From The Five Kingdoms’, ‘The Tiara Club’ and ‘The Draglins’, Vivian has led a very busy life away from her keyboard conducting writing workshops for both children and adults, teaching at Edinburgh College of Art, and mentoring new writers and illustrators.

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