Year 7 Larkmead student Leo, won £50 in National Book Tokens plus £150 in tokens for the school’s Library with his colourful book token design which will appear on National Book Tokens by Christmas!
Having arrived in the UK from China in 2018, Leo started at Larkmead School in September 2018 with little or no spoken English. To assist him with his transition an older ‘Reading Buddy’ was assigned who also spoke Mandarin and so was able to support Leo – and chat to Leo too!
Leo’s love of and ability in art took him to the school’s art club and he also enjoyed exploring the variety of reading resources and activities in the school’s Library. He is now very confident and speaks some English.
Leo was presented with his prize during school assembly earlier this week.
Leo said: “I love reading, but not from the beginning though. When I first came to Larkmead school, it was very hard for me to read any books because I just moved to England with my family from China at that time. I could only speak few words as well.”
I always love drawing so I joined the school art club, then my friends invited me to join the book club in the school library during the lunch break, where they were amazed with my artwork which I did in the class. I took this challenge and it really changed my reading habits. The book club was really fun and I started to enjoy and read more and more.”
“Miss Stone our library manager has been so kind to me. She provided me so much support and even encouraged me to join the Carnegie Club, which gave me even more challenge, but improved my reading skills even further.”
“I wish I could be the winner for the next book token design competition and could win more book tokens for my school library.”
Librarian Linda Stone followed on: “I have run the World Book Day National “Design A Book Token” Competition for the last 5 years in the hope of gaining a winner. Thanks to Leo we did it!!”
Leo also won £50 book tokens for Miss Stone, which she is donating to the school.
Chris Harris, Leo’s Headteacher, summed up:
“We are so proud of Leo. He has combined his love of art with his love of reading and now when anyone in this country buys a Book Token they will see Leo’s illustration. What a fantastic achievement for him – and of great benefit to the school’s library too.”
Larkmead School is hosting Nicki Thornton’s Book Launch on Friday 12th July, 7pm – 9pm, for her 2nd novel; Bad Luck Lighthouse, published on July 4 2019.