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Families will have the chance to take home free books at Stockton’s highly anticipated Christmas lights switch on, thanks to the Read North East literacy campaign.

The book giveaway at Stockton Sparkles on Thursday 30 November is the latest in a series of exciting Read North East events taking place in the region over the coming year. Volunteers from the National Literacy Trust and the Stockton Libraries Service will get in the festive spirit and hand out hundreds of books for children of all ages, which have been generously donated by campaign partner Penguin Random House Children’s. Parents will also be able to pick up tips on reading at home and information about upcoming events.

Read North East is a campaign from the North East Literacy Forum, led by the National Literacy Trust, to raise children’s literacy levels in the area. The campaign encourages parents to talk and read to their babies and children, while encouraging reading for pleasure across the region and engaging businesses in addressing the literacy challenge.

In October, almost 2,000 books were given away for free at the intu Metrocentre in Gateshead, where children also enjoyed storytelling and a visit from Peppa Pig. As part of the campaign, hundreds more books were also gifted to Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland AFC football fans during the local derby at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium last month.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said:
“We can’t wait to start the Christmas celebrations at our next Read North East book giveaway at the popular Stockton Sparkles event. Sharing stories for just 10 minutes every day is enough to make a difference to a child’s literacy skills. The festive period is a fantastic time to get into the habit of reading regularly and enjoy extra special story time.”

The Read North East team will be handing out books from 16:30 to 19:30 from a cabin in the centre of town, near the Christmas tree.

Find out more about Read North East and upcoming events by visiting or find the National Literacy Trust on Facebook and Twitter.