A local school is one step closer to creating a ‘library bus’ to encourage children to read, thanks to a donation from award-winning housebuilder Story Homes.

The Grove Primary School, based in Consett, is working to convert a double-decker bus into a library and engaging reading space.

The school decided to pursue this project after discovering studies that showed the connection between enjoying reading and academic achievement, and after visiting another school that had been successfully running a library bus project for three years.

Story Homes’ contribution will go towards installing the bespoke library area on the bus. The housebuilder has made the donation as part of its ‘Future Story’ scheme, which aims to help charities and community organisations that surround its developments – in this case, The Woodlands at Shotley Bridge. The Woodlands, which was Story Homes’ first development in the North East, is now nearing completion, with almost all of the 240 homes across four phases now sold.

The developer accepts sponsorship applications via its website all year round, with a regional committee reviewing submissions on a quarterly basis.

William Gray, Year 1 teacher at The Grove Primary School and co-ordinator of the project, said: “We are always looking into new and exciting ways of engaging children in their academic subjects. We visited a school with an existing library bus project, and the difference it has had on reading throughout the school is phenomenal. This is why we want the same for our pupils at The Grove.

“We are so thankful to Story Homes for their donation towards our own library bus. Without such generosity, our project would not have been able to go ahead. This money will help us change the lives of our children through reading.”

Ian Worgan, Managing Director for Story Homes in the North East, commented: “We endeavour to help the communities around our developments in ways that add long-term value, so The Grove’s creation of a library bus to encourage reading is exactly the type of project that we are proud to support.

“We look forward to seeing the library bus in action once it has been completed, and to joining pupils and teachers from the school at the grand opening in due course.”

Story Homes is now inviting charities and community groups to apply for support in the next quarter. Applications for sponsorship should be made by completing the form at storyhomes.co.uk/sustainable-story.

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