Merseyside's Deputy Police Commissioner joined representatives from Merseyside Police and Fire and Rescue service at a Huyton primary school this morning for a special reading to mark World Book Day.
Cllr Emily Spurrell, Merseyside Police’s Head of Local Policing Chief Superintendent Jon Roy and Merseyside Fire and Rescue’s Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens were all invited to St Columba’s Catholic Primary School in Hillside Road to read stories to the pupils.
Emily chose to read ‘Milly the Meerkat’ by Oakley Graham, a modern day re-telling of the ‘Boy who cries Wolf’ to a class of approximately 30 Year 4 students who were dressed as an array of literary characters, while Chief Superintendent Roy read to the Year 6 students and local PCSO Mark McNicholl joined the Year 5 children.
They were then joined by Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens, who read ‘Dinosaurs love Underpants’ and ‘Monsters love Underpants’ for a joint question and answer session and poems from the children, before they were all presented with special ‘reading champion’ trophies from the children for participating in the event.
Emily said: “It was a pleasure to visit St Columba’s and spend time with the children to mark the 21st World Book Day. Events like this are a great way to engage with young people and highlight how important reading skills and story-telling are in a young person’s education. It is also a really enjoyable way of talking to them about who we are and about the work of the police and the Police Commissioner.
“I was thrilled to be presented with a reading champion trophy by the school – it will take pride of place on my desk in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.”
St Columba’s Deputy Headteacher, Veronica Oprey, who was dressed as 101 Dalmations villain Cruella Deville, said: “The school’s staff and children had a wonderful time dressing up.
“We recognise the importance of encouraging children to be life-long readers, and we encourage them to read just for pleasure. The World Book Day event is one of the activities that helps to inspire them to enjoy books.
“It was wonderful to have the Deputy PCC, Chief Fire Officer Stephens and representatives from Merseyside Police with us to read to the children.”
CFO Stephens said: “It was a pleasure to visit St Columba’s and join their World Book Day event.
“All the children and staff put a great effort into dressing up as their favourite characters and they all looked fantastic.
“It is always heartening to see how much the children love books and reading, and I felt privileged to read some of their favourite books to them as part of such a special day.”
World Book Day is an international celebration of reading, authors, illustrators and books. It is marked in more than 100 countries around the world.
Find out more here.