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The Duchess of Cornwall celebrates International Literacy Day

8th September 2010

The Duchess of Cornwall celebrated International Literacy Day by joining a ‘Rhymetime’ session organised in partnership with the National Literacy Trust at Trowbridge Library, Wiltshire.

Her Royal Highness met with young children and their parents while they sang nursery rhymes and action songs She joined in with the songs and nursery rhymes including ‘twinkle twinkle little star’, incy wincy spider’ and ‘one, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive’.

The Duchess, who is an avid reader herself and is Patron of the Wicked Young Writer’s Award, read the short book “Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy” and met with the families who benefit from reading sessions. Joining The Duchess was author Eileen Browne who read from her own book “Handa’s Surprise” before the two women handed out books to the children. HRH was also given copies of the book for her own grandchildren.

During the visit, The Duchess also met with an adult learner and tutor from Wiltshire College, and Lukasz and Elzbieta Kaczmarzyk and their 18-month-old daughter Natalia who attend the Polish rhymetime sessions at the library.

Lukasz said: “I am overwhelmed that she chose to come and speak to us”.

The Duchess also spent time meeting a Specialist Support Midwife and the Neighbourhood Involvement Manager from Westlea Housing Association who are working with the National Literacy Trust’s project in Wiltshire to reach more families in need of literacy support locally.

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity, established in 1993, that transforms lives through literacy. So far the charity has worked with 800,000 children and 7,000 adults, and have given 343,000 children from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to choose nearly 858,000 free books to keep.

Its Partners in Literacy programme aims to increase the levels of literacy in disadvantaged families and is currently working with 21 local authorities to extend the scope of local support for literacy.

Amanda Jordan, the Chairman of the National Literacy Trust, said: “I am delighted that Her Royal Highness has helped to show the importance of working with families to take literacy beyond schools.”