Falkirk area school library projects receive £42,000 funding boost

Two initiatives designed to inspire a passion for reading and learning about other cultures and languages among school pupils have benefitted from a funding boost.

Libraries at Falkirk Council’s primaries and secondaries have been awarded a combined £42,400 School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) grant to support the Hizara Tantara: Multilingual Storytelling Festival and Fostering a Love of Reading within Families projects.

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) national funding programme aids activities which meet key education priorities, including literacy development, information and digital learning and health and wellbeing.

Both initiatives run in Falkirk certainly do that as the Hizara Tantara project, which has been granted £21,400, sees school librarians and modern language teachers work with a professional storyteller to develop storytelling skills with S1 and S2 pupils across the academic session and promote cultural diversity via the sharing of stories.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney meets with keen readers at Grangemouth High School

Meanwhile, £21,000 has been given to the Fostering a Love of Reading within Families programme to bring together ten primary schools whose pupils will work with a writer in residence.

Male family members will also be encouraged to get involved in the children’s learning as part of the project.

A Falkirk Council spokeswoman said: “We’re happy to have secured funding for both of these exciting initiatives across our schools libraries.

“The two projects will give us the scope to further develop our exciting work on developing reading cultures across all of our learning settings for children and young people three to 18 years — and a love of reading as a family.”

Thirty-four school library projects across Scotland have received a combined total of £272,000 in SLIF grants.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “School libraries have a vital part to play in supporting literacy and improving attainment right across the curriculum.

“We want libraries to be the vibrant hub of our schools. I am very pleased to see recipients focussing on not only literacy but health and wellbeing, STEM and digital learning and engagement with their wider community.”

Pamela Tulloch, SLIC chief executive, said: “School libraries have embraced the opportunity to develop new ways of engaging with pupils and the wider school community, enhancing the learning experience and attainment levels.

“Research shows a well-run school library can impact positively on attainment and attitudes to learning. School libraries have enjoyed increased support since the introduction of the national school library strategy and we hope this continues to deliver long-lasting and sustainable benefits.”

SLIF was launched in 2017 as a three-year £1 million fund to transform school libraries. A new funding round will open for applications on January 10, 2020, with £170,000 available for creative projects to enhance school library provision.

For more information and to apply, visit www.scottishlibraries.org/funding.