Last week, the Northampton Town Community Trust began distributing books to local schools as part of a follow up to World Book Day and as part of a donation from the National Literacy Trust. The Trust and Clarence will be visiting a total of ten schools over two weeks to hand out the books to the lucky selected children.
On Tuesday, we visited Park Junior in Wellingborough where the pupils were very excited to see Clarence and very grateful to receive the donation. Damon Fox, Schools & Business Development Officer, then visited every class in the school to allow pupils to put their questions to Clarence who has certainly missed going out to visit pupils following the recent lockdown.
"It's always great to visit schools with Clarence and especially for this purpose of donating these books as we look to inspire pupils to have a love for reading and we thank the National Literacy Trust for that," said Damon.
"Going out to visit schools that are further away in the county is always more rewarding in a way as they can't always access us here at the PTS Stadium in the town. What was also great at Park Juniors was the school's clear ethos for reading which was reiterated by Shaun McMahon, the Computer Technician at school, and local author."
"Writing a book has always been an ambition of mine," said Mr McMahon. "Initially, the idea for the story came from linking the two words "fowl" and "foul" and the image of a football playing chicken came to mind. From that one image the story of Bert McCluck and his dream to play for West Farthing FC was born.
"Fowl is a story of following your dreams. It's about being accepted for who you are not what society says that you should be. It's about not giving up even when the odds are stacked against you. It's about friendship and being there for your friends in their hour of need.
"Hearing stories of children being excited about the book and wanting to know what happens is also a big drive for me to carry on writing. I think that it's important that children enjoy reading for pleasure and if I can play a small role in building a lifelong love of reading then that makes the journey that I went through to get the book written and published all worthwhile."