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Author Dan Unveils 'A Whole New World' For Monty's Young Book Lovers

posted Mar 10, 2017, 12:48 AM by Nicholas Basson   [ updated Mar 10, 2017, 6:46 AM ]
Leading children's author, Dan Freedman, was the very special guest at the official opening of our superb new library at Montgomery Primary Academy in Birmingham.

Taking just eight months to build, the new facility makes the maximum use of natural daylight with a specially constructed glass wall. In a prime location close to the main school entrance, the new library area has transformed a former caretaker's living area and offers twice the number of books available from the former library which was so small that pupils were rationed to fortnightly visits.

Dan Freedman is a former journalist who worked for The Football Association for seven years. During that time he travelled around the world with the England squad, edited Wembley Cup Final programmes and interviewed soccer superstars like David Beckham, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dan left the FA in 2007 to pursue a career as a children's novelist on football stories. He has written eight best selling books, all in the Jamie Johnson series about an outstanding boy footballer who had to overcome major obstacles, both on and off the pitch, to pursue his ambition of becoming a top professional footballer. Jamie's stories have also been televised on CBBC.

Before cutting the ribbon Dan told pupils: " Your new library will improve your lives. Through reading and enjoying books you will be more calm and relaxed, which will reduce your blood pressure and make you healthier. You will probably make more friends, because when you read about the characters and the stories it will help you to understand different people's lives and the way they try and overcome their obstacles. This room, this new library, is a whole new world for you!"

Dan then moved on to be interviewed live on Monty's Voice; the school's own radio station run by the pupils. He told his young

interviewers: "I feel elated, excited, stimulated, proud and privileged to be here. We have just opened your brand new library which was a terrific moment."

As well as being light, bright and inspiring, the new library offers twice as many book titles as the old one, which was kept open by support staff. A permanent librarian has been appointed who shares her working week with time spent at Montgomery's Birmingham partner school, Percy Shurmer Academy.

Assistant Head Teacher at Montgomery, Nasra Hussein writes: "The library is part of our whole school project on reading. As a 'Talk for Writing Training School,' we understand the value of reading in the curriculum and place a high emphasis on quality stories and texts to develop children's reading and writing skills.

"We have over-hauled the reading curriculum through a whole school action research project, led by the Literacy leaders and team members.

"Children are now taught reading in whole classes; we've re-launched home reading, renewed incentives, increased the amount of independent reading time in the curriculum and developed the range of reading interventions available to the children. This library will be the hub for the school, promoting reading for pleasure and engagement."