City of Readers launch unique Give us 5 for reading video

On Wednesday afternoon people from across the City descended on Blackburne House for the debut screening of the Give us 5 video. Produced by Jack-All Productions, the awe-inspiring film captures a glimpse of the power of reading for pleasure beautifully.

Over the past few weeks organisations and individuals have united with City of Readers to dedicate their time to the project; Blackburne House generously donated the venue and Brian Patten kindly allowed his poem to be read, as well as those who offered their time to be featured in the video.

Prior to the showing of the video, Director of City of Readers and our Founder and Director, Dr Jane Davis emphasised the importance of the work City of Readers do in their aim to make Liverpool the foremost reading city in the UK. Laura Lewis, one of our Schools Coordinators also shared heartwarming anecdotes detailing the impact reading has had on some of the children City of Readers work with.

Last term City of Readers reached 579 school children in 17 schools and conducted 372 reading sessions. In one school staff saw 75% of pupils with poor attendance improving attendance, with 88% of pupils more willing to independently choose to read. Another school said that 79% of reading scores had gone up over the Summer, with 17% staying the same. This is fantastic as most reading scores plummet when children are away from school.

The launch was an opportunity for people to learn about this worthy project, and to discover how they can get involved. City of Readers are delighted with the passion, dedication and enthusiasm shown by attendees to the launch. Amongst those who attended were representatives from Mersey Travel, Waterstones and Baltic Creative who all generously pledged to Give City of Readers 5 for reading.


Esteemed author Frank Cottrell Boyce has donated 5000 words to City of Readers. The final chapter will be read live at the forthcoming Penny Readings in December.

City of Readers urge everyone across Liverpool to get involved and Give us 5. So how can you pledge? Do you have 5 books that have been untouched in months? You could donate them to the City of Readers project. Or can you spare 5 minutes of your day and read to a loved one? For more ideas and details on how you can Give us 5, visit the City of Readers website here.

You can watch the Give us 5 by following this link or scrolling down to our blog post ‘Give City of Readers 5 and some exciting news at Calderstones’.

Give City of Readers 5 – and some exciting news at Calderstones

Reading is becoming big news in Liverpool as there are some exciting plans afoot to ensure that generations can engage with literature for years to come.

Our friends at City of Readers have been hard at work over the past few months gathering support from individuals and organisations across the city for their Give Us 5 campaign. Frank Cottrell Boyce, Liverpool Echo and Baltic Creative have been amongst those who have lent their support to turn Liverpool into the UK’s foremost reading city over the past year, and thanks to a very special campaign video even more people are on board. The brilliant Jack-All Productions have been busy putting together the video, featuring the Royal Liverpool Hospital, National Museums Liverpool, Whitefield Primary School, BBC Radio Merseyside and local poet Levi Tafari, who are all encouraging everyone around Liverpool to give 5 for reading. The video was launched at Blackburne House in Liverpool last week, along with a special CPD event with The Reader Organisation’s founder Jane Davis and Frank Cottrell Boyce giving a rundown of their favourite books to read for pleasure with children.

Take a look at the video below, and find out more about how you can get involved with giving 5 for reading on the City of Readers website:

There was also some wonderful news for our continued redevelopment at Calderstones Mansion as we received funding from the Social Investment Business for The Story Barn at Calderstones. The Grade 2 listed Barn and Stable area of the Mansion will be transformed to become an interactive Story Barn, bringing literature to life and encouraging reading for pleasure amongst young people and the wider community within the heart of Calderstones. Exhibitions from children’s authors and illustrators will feature alongside a permanent interactive space which will allow children and families to explore, play and interact with literary adventures as well as the nature of the park surrounding. With our weekly shared reading groups for children already successful, the Story Barn will be an important cornerstone in continuing to create a love of reading in future generations and the creation of making Calderstones Mansion House an International Centre of Reading.

We’re proud to be part of regeneration in Liverpool alongside an initiative from Squash Nutrition which also received funding to develop Toxteth Food Central. You can read more about the fantastic news here:

Culture in Liverpool: LightNight and Giant Spectacular

PrintLiverpool’s annual nighttime celebration of culture around the city is returning this Friday 16th MayLightNight 2014 will be happening from 4pm until late, unlocking the doors of  Liverpool’s world-class museums, galleries and heritage sites  as the city is illuminated with an unforgettable trail of over 100 free events for all ages, providing the perfect chance to meet friends and family for the relaxed after-hours atmosphere and rediscovering the city centre – it’s a Friday night out with a difference.

This year, City of Readers and The Reader Organisation will be part of LightNight’s activities in Liverpool Central Library. From 4pm to 8.30pm come and find out more about the City of Readers project which is aiming to transform Liverpool into the UK’s foremost reading city. Come along to the Atrium on the ground floor of the library, learn about the project and how you can get involved with the Give Us 5 campaign.

Between 6pm and 7.30pm we’ll also be holding special shared reading and storytelling sessions around the theme of ‘light’. Enjoy the reading aloud with the option of joining in or simply sitting back and enjoying the stories and poems on offer. The sessions will be taking place on the ground floor of Central Library and are free to participate in, all ages and abilities welcome.

little_girl_giantFriday 16th May is also the deadline for applications to volunteer at this year’s Giant Spectacular which is heading to Liverpool in July. After the success of the Sea Odyssey Giant Spectacular in 2012, the Giants are returning to Liverpool with Royal De Luxe to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in another piece of poignant and spectacular piece of street theatre embarking on an emotional journey around the city from 23rd-27th July.  Part of the show will see the recreation of the Liverpool Pals Battalion from 1914 when thousands of men from the city signed up to defend their country, and Giant Spectacular are seeking a total of 120 volunteers to be part of the show.

To be involved, volunteers must be male and aged 18 or over, be physically fit to be able to march repeatedly around the city and be available from 27th June. The deadline is midnight on Friday 16th May – more information can be found on the Giant Spectacular website: