As part of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, a Scottish Government campaign that aims to encourage children to develop a love of reading, Waterstones will take over 600 books to Benbecula and will donate fifty books to the library at Sgoil Lionacleit. They will open the doors of their pop-up shop at Sgoil Lionacleit on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th June.
Sgoil Lionacleit is a six year comprehensive school serving the islands of Benbecula, North and South Uist. The school has just under 300 pupils from 12 to 18 years. The building doubles as a community centre for the island, the library is open to the public and the complex also provides a small museum, swimming pool and sports facilities.
Without a local dedicated bookshop, access to books is limited on the islands. The pop-up bookshop will be open to pupils, parents and the wider Benbecula community, offering a hand-picked selection of books in English and Gaelic for readers of all ages. After browsing the book selection, customers can take a coffee break and Waterstones will provide children’s activity sheets for young visitors.
Waterstones bookseller Robin Crawford is set to transport the books from his bookshop in Dundee to Sgoil Lionacleit. As a keen Western Isles enthusiast, Robin was pleased to volunteer for the 275 mile journey. His passion for the islands has inspired him to write Into The Peatlands a new book exploring the peatlands of the Outer Hebrides, to be published in September.
The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is open to all primary schools in Scotland, as well as six secondary schools in a pilot expansion to the project.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “As one of the pilot secondary schools for the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, we have been working with Sgoil Lionacleit to develop their reading culture and build partnerships that increase access to books. The Waterstones pop-up shop is one of a number of initiatives undertaken by the school to give reading a high profile. It will be a great opportunity for its pupils and wider community to explore a range of books, and to celebrate all they have done to support the First Minister’s Reading Challenge this past year.”