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Thousands of schoolchildren heading to Author Week

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More than 3,000 Leicester schoolchildren are set to visit Welford Road this week for Author Week.

Organised by city-wide reading project Whatever It Takes, the event hosts a series of workshops, presentations and activities for pupils from around Leicester and aims to promote and improve literacy skills.

Children’s authors John Dougherty, Sarah McIntyre and Steve Skidmore will be among the names hosting interactive sessions for children in the Premiership Suite within the Holland & Barrett Stand.

Dougherty, creator of ‘There’s A Pig Up My Nose’, said: “Author Week is always a highlight of the year. One of the best things is just getting the books into the hands of children who might not otherwise have any books.

“I talk to them about the book, sing the theme tune and get the kids to join in as my little ‘piggie choir’. Then we get them to the tables writing their own stories.”

More than 3,000 five- to 11-year-olds will experience Author Week and each pupil also gets to take home a signed book from the writer they have met.

Skidmore, who is also a Leicester Tigers member, will deliver sessions on Wednesday morning and afternoon.

“Giving the kids the experience of meeting a real, live author is always good,” he said.

“One of the nice things for me is I’m a local boy from Birstall, so it’s nice to share that I have the same background as some of these kids.”

Tiffini Castle, project manager at Whatever It Takes, added: “I always say to people that it’s a full-on week where thousands of kids get to meet authors, learn from them and get excited about reading.

“Each session is made up of meeting the author and hearing them speak, followed by a workshop where the children get to write or draw, again with the authors.

“[Welford Road] is a really good venue, and it’s a nice to work with people who take it as seriously as we do. It’s a great space.”

Whatever It Takes is an initiative aimed at inspiring Leicester schoolchildren to read for pleasure and to enjoy writing. You can find out more by visiting their website.