ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Reading Force will work in partnership to bring a new pre-school family reading project to 4,000 young Army families in Hampshire.

A special launch event with children’s author, Kathryn White, pre-school Service children, parents and carers will be held at Toye Box Early Years Centre, Aldershot Garrison on Wednesday 22 October.

Bringing families together

Reading Force is the first national shared reading initiative for Service families. It encourages families to read the same book together, talk about it and capture thoughts in a specially-designed scrapbook.

Alison Baverstock, Founder and Director of Reading Force, said: “Service charities are working hard to serve the same group of people – so it’s both important and appropriate to share our efforts; to make the best use of time and resources wherever possible.

“We are therefore delighted to announce this initial collaboration – to reach pre-schools and parents of young Army families within a specific region – a project we both hope will eventually grow to cover the UK as a whole.”

Reaching even more children

To date, the majority of children taking part in Reading Force have been primary and junior school aged children, and organisers are keen to involve pre-schoolers and infants to raise their awareness of the initiative and its benefits.

The Soldiers’ Charity grant will enable this special focus, bringing the benefits of the Reading Force programme to even more Army families.

Wendy Searle, Head of Communications at The Soldiers’ Charity, said: “The importance of sharing a good book cannot be underestimated, however young or old you are.

“Reading Force has proved itself to be successful and welcomed by so many Army families who are facing separation, and we are delighted to be working on this valuable project.”

Get involved

Wherever you’re posted, find out more about Reading Force at www.readingforce.org.uk

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