By Cara Sulieman
A SCOTTISH council is being applauded for their scheme to encourage troubled kids to start reading.
It is their determination to encourage children in care to start reading that has brought them the honour.
The Edinburgh Reading Champion project wants to get vulnerable young people reading for pleasure by having a dedicated member of staff who talks to them about books and their benefit.
Colm Linnane is the ‘reading champion’ who encourages the kids as well as training other staff on how to make reading a part of the children’s lives.
It is hoped that the project will improve their self esteem and academic achievement, something that they tend to be lacking due to their unstable upbringing.
Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convenor, said: “It’s wonderful to see this inspiring and pioneering project getting such deserved national recognition.
“Under the guidance of our trained staff and by discovering books of interest that stimulate their imagination, vulnerable and disadvantaged young people are introduced to the lifelong pleasures of reading, growing in confidence and developing better self esteem as a result.”
Councillor Marilyne MacLaren, Education, Children and Families Convenor, said: “These are some of the most vulnerable children in our community, many of whom have suffered abuse and challenging home lives.
“Introducing them to reading for pleasure helps them to learn about themselves and the world around them.
“This is an extremely worthwhile project and I wish it every success in the CILIP awards.”
The project also works with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
The winner of the Libraries Change Lives Award will be announced today.