Midlothian pupils encouraged to ‘book swap’

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Children in Midlothian are set to take part in the country’s biggest book swap when thousands of youngsters 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.

ScottishPower is hoping to involve 5,000 children from across Scotland with five lucky schools getting the chance to win a visit from a leading children’s author attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

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.

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 for schools to get together in Midlothian, swapping books and sharing stories, so we’re putting up even more prizes this year to hopefully get more young people involved.

“We hope everyone in Midlothian 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.”

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.”