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Pupils at Kingsbury Green Academy are tackling issues around racism and equality head-on thanks to a donation from the Calne Lions.

thomas kgaSince returning to school after lockdown, pupils have been encouraged to read widely, with dedicated time for silent reading during the school day.  As part of identifying literature that would engage and challenge pupils, the school approached the Calne Lions to help fund books for every pupil in years eight, nine and ten.

The Calne Lions provided £1,120, which bought a copy of Ghost Boys for years eight and nine, and The Hate U Give for year 10.

Both titles were chosen due to their relevance to national and global issues, with themes then being discussed in class.

Ghost Boys is a heart-breaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a white police officer, drawing connections with real-life history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes.

The Hate U Give is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping novel about one girl's struggle for justice following witnessing the shooting of her unarmed best friend.  The novel was dramatized in film in 2018, as well as winning the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2018 and was Winner of the Children's Book of the Year 2018 at the British Book Awards.

Headteacher of Kingsbury Green Academy, Jason Tudor, said: “Reading has always been a priority at Kingsbury Green Academy, however nationally lockdown has had an effect in increasing the gender gap between boys’ and girls’ reading.

“During lockdown, when parents asked me what they could do I always advised that even if they did nothing at all, please read.  Coming back for the new school year, we’ve implemented a new reading strategy that ensures that everyone spends part of each day reading.  We chose books that we thought would engage and challenge learners and we were delighted that the Calne Lions kindly provided the funding so that we could provide each student with their own copy.”

Jo Morgan, Vice President of the Calne Lions, added: “The Lions clubs are always committed to supporting and helping people in the communities they live in. 

“In Calne there are families who need extra support and not being on the right level with reading can be a great disadvantage to a child’s future.  Lockdown presented us with a greater need to support the children in our community and we were keen to be involved with Kingsbury Green Academy’s reading scheme.

“We have a number of projects across the town, many of which benefit our young people, however we’re always keen to get more involved and speak to anyone who might need our support.”

To find out more about the Calne Lions and to contact them, visit www.calnelions.org

For more information on Kingsbury Green Academy, visit www.kingsburygreenacademy.com