Luton school gets surprise delivery

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One of the Department of Education’s aims is that every primary school child should be able to, read a book and write a short story with accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar by the time they join secondary school.

Recently, Southfield Primary School in Pastures Way, Luton, received a surprising boost to that aim. They received from World of Books a delivery that will make that aim a little easier to achieve.

A huge crate of educational books, chapter novels and early learning books arrived as the schoolchildren were arriving for what they thought was another normal day. Instead they were greeted by box after box of books.

The books were a joint gift from Rukeya Suleman, a lecturer in the Business School at the University of Bedfordshire, and both Bachelor and Masters students, who raised money as part of their degree studies.

Rukeya, a Cambridge graduate, said: “Childhood literacy is incredibly important, and a physical book is recognised in academic education literature and research as being key to learning, and providing a foundation for reading for education and pleasure throughout their lives.”

Rukeya believes strongly in the maxim that students should ‘read for their degree’ and that developing a love of reading early helps create a generation of children who are able to maximise their potential throughout their lives, and that this gift of books can be a start of a lifelong love of books.

The book bonanza wasn’t chosen at random, it is a family affair, as Rukeya’s sister, Nafeesa Suleman, is a teacher at the school, and was instrumental in identifying the books the school would like. She said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Rukeya, her students and the University of Bedfordshire, these books will make a huge difference to the learning of our pupils.”

Headteacher Sarah Pollard said: “You cannot over-estimate how valuable real books are to the educational process.”

Debra Leighton, the executive dean of the University of Bedfordshire Business School, echoed Rukeya’s thoughts about the importance of developing reading skills and physical books, and said: “Developing an early curiosity in reading gives children a head start later on in their education and in other areas of their life. The University of Bedfordshire Business School is delighted to support this initiative.”