Not to be outdone by Falkirk Council’s RED Book Awards, Junior RED returned to live events this month. The cluster-wide initiative is organised by Jacqui McIntyre from Bo’ness Academy as part of a bid to promote reading and improve literacy skills.
The main event welcomed 145 P5/6 pupils with their teachers and other guests.
Jacqui admitted it had been difficult to keep the local reading initiative going when Covid hit, but she adapted to cope and is delighted to now be back properly.
She said: “Initially starting in 2019 it was no mean feat keeping this initiative going throughout the pandemic. H owever, we embraced the virtual world and hosted virtual Q&A sessions with author Tom Palmer and received a video response to questions from author Elizabeth Laird who lives across the pond.
"This year we were extremely lucky to be joined in person by author of ‘The Titanic Detective Agency’ Lindsay Littleson, and Robin Scott Elliot, author of ‘The Tzars Curious Runaways’.
"They enthused young readers about both reading and writing, participated in a question and answer session, then got writer’s cramp signing autographs on the huge number of books that were purchased from our pop-up book store provided by Inkspot Silverleaf in Bo’ness!
"Of course prizes were provided in lovely red bags too in keeping with the theme of RED, which stands for read, enjoy, debate , w hich is exactly what we did and look forward to doing all over again in 2023! ”
Jacqui was not only delighted for the children in attendance but also a very special guest.
She said: “The invited guests included the one and only Yvonne Manning, senior librarian, who helped to compere the event.
"Pupils were also treated to a literary rap from Yvonne, met by a similar rendition from myself with reference to all the books that had been read across the cluster.
"Unfortunately, many locals couldn’t attend due to a clash with pre-planned Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”