Luke Edwards: Closing the literacy gap through our Make Believe campaign

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Once upon a time, in Sainsbury’s stores up and down the country, we hosted a series of ‘Make Believe’ reading corners to mark the 20th anniversary of World Book Day.

Make Believe is one of our biggest annual campaigns which aims to get children excited about reading and runs alongside World Book Day – the national celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading.

Throughout this week, we’ll be hosting reading corners in 25 of our largest supermarkets, and our colleagues have invited local schools to take part in the events. But we’re not working alone. We’ve enlisted a range of authors, illustrators and publishers to help make these activities fun and inspiring for all of the children involved.

It’s not the first time we’ve held reading corners, but this year promises to be bigger and better. We’ve teamed up with children’s authors Tom Percival, Rosie Greening and Joe Berger who will each host a session in one of our stores. There will also be special appearances from some famous characters such as Where’s Wally and Peppa Pig.

The first event took place on Monday at our Sydenham store where Elmer, the much-loved patchwork elephant, made a special visit. Elsewhere, our Amblecote store hosted a Harry Potter themed activity and colleagues from our London Colney supermarket ran a session based on the famous children’s character Mog.

Over the next few days, schools from all over the UK will take part in similar sessions as part of our wider commitment to raising childhood literacy levels.

For the second year running, we’ve signed up to the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge which is an exciting project led by the National Literacy Forum. Working with the National Literacy Forum, we’re helping to close the literacy gap and boost social mobility, and our Make Believe event forms a huge part of this.

To read more about the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge, click here.

Luke Edwards, Community Affairs