A mission to bring the joy of reading to children in Plymouth
By Charlotte Cox
For Kerry Bidewell, there was a defining moment in her charity's mission to help schoolchildren find joy in reading.
Promoting Children in Plymouth (PCIP) had just delivered a story telling session and gifted each pupil a book.
Ms Bidewell said: "The reaction of one little boy will stay with me, he had to check the book was really his to keep.
"He hastily wrote his name in it, then stood there and hugged it and said 'I feel rich'."
PCIP runs a project inviting community role models into classrooms in Plymouth to break down literacy barriers.
Relatable people from fields including medicine, law and sport read and gift books to children.
The charity has delivered 492 story telling sessions in the city over two years.
According to the National Literacy Trust, one in five children between the ages of five and eight did not own books at home in 2022.
But Ms Bidewell, the charity's development manager, said this "book poverty" figure is higher in many of the city's classrooms.