Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Chief Fire Officer reads to schoolchildren to mark World Book Day

Chief Fire Officer reads to schoolchildren to mark World Book Day

Thursday, 01 March 2018

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Dan Stephens, visited a Huyton primary school this morning to take part in its World Book Day celebrations.

CFO Stephens joined a special assembly at St Columba's Catholic Primary School and then read to around 30 children from reception class.

The four and five-year-olds - dressed as an array of literary characters including Harry Potter, Robin Hood, the Queen of Hearts and Fantastic Mr Fox - sat cross-legged, listening carefully as CFO Stephens read two of their favourite stories – ‘Dinosaurs Love Underpants’ and ‘Monsters Love Underpants’.

He also treated them to some real-life stories about MFRS rescue dogs Belle and Willow.

CFO Stephens visited the school together with Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell, Head of Local Policing Chief Superintendent Jon Roy and PCSO Mark McNicholl from Merseyside Police as part of World Book Day, which is an international celebration of reading.

The vistors listened to pupils read poems and were then presented with special trophies from 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.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “It was a pleasure to visit St Columba’s and spend time with the children to mark 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.

“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 Chief Fire Officer Stephens and representatives from Merseyside Police and the PCC with us to read to the children.”

The school has recently gained Knowsley premium position for progress in reading, across Key stage 2.

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