A SHARED love of reading has brought children from two junior schools together.

Girls from The Abbey Junior School donated the books they have enjoyed the most to pupils at Whitley Park Primary and Nursery School.

The aim of the Little Free Library project, which officially launched on June 7, is to get children to take books home and swap them with family members.

More than 800 books were donated by The Abbey and John Madejski Academy will also support the project by decorating a shed at Whitley Park, where the books will be kept.

Nicola Dick-Cleland, head of The Abbey's junior school, said: “It is always good to be involved in a project such as this, which opens up the wonderful world of books and stories to children.

"Reading can widen our horizons, be a place of refuge and a shared pleasure.”

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As part of the project, pupils from the two junior schools recently enjoyed a visit to South Street Arts Centre and they have been sharing their favourite stories with one another.

Ruth Thompson, deputy head at Whitley Park Primary, said: “As schools which foster a love and enjoyment of reading, we are delighted that children across both schools are being given the opportunity to share their love of reading through this project.”

A balloon releasing ceremony was held to mark the official opening of the new joint venture, as children came to school with dozens of books to donate to the shed.

Whitley Park Parent Fundraisers and members of the school council at Whitley Park were given the honour of opening the new library, along with Abbey librarian Carol Botterill.

Charlotte Gleadhill, partnership co-ordinator at The Abbey, added: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Whitley Park Primary and Nursery School on this exciting venture and we look forward to continuing our partnership work in the future.”

Karen Salter, head teacher at Whitley Park, said: “We have a strong legacy of working in partnership with other Reading schools and we are delighted that this work has extended to include colleagues, children and families from The Abbey School.”