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Dudley’s going on a bear hunt

Parents and carers of tots who live in the centre of Dudley are being invited to take part in a family event to celebrate a popular children’s book.

The National Literacy Trust is working with Dudley Council to put on exciting family events themed around ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ with the aim of boosting pre-school literacy rates.

Taking place on Friday 28 February, the free event is open to pre-school aged children who live in the St James’s ward, as well as those who frequently go to a nursery, preschool or playgroup in area.

The event starts at 10.30am at Park Congregational Church, Himley Street, Dudley, DY1 2BE and people do not need to pre-register.

Families will have the opportunity to hear the much-loved children's book by Michael Rosen brought to life for them by professional storyteller Steve Stickley and there will be a welly walk around the nearby Grange Park, encouraging families to go on their very own Bear Hunt.

Children who attend will also go away with their very own free copy of the ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ book and set of bear ears, while stocks last. Healthy snacks, and a range of fun activities for families to take part in, from crafting to sensory activities and rhyme times will also be offered. Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said:

"Bear Hunt has always been a favourite in my household and it is fantastic to see so many nurseries and schools taking inspiration from the story, with special trails and other activities taking place.

"Events such as these can help to ignite a love for books and stories in children and their parents and stories help to improve speech and language, which in turns gives children a greater chance to flourish at school.

"I would encourage anyone with a pre-school aged child who lives in the St James’s ward to come along and give this wonderful event a try."

The event is one of four organised by the National Literacy Trust across the wider area this month as part of the Black Country Early Outcomes project. All four Black Country councils are working together with early years professionals, health professionals and the National Literacy Trust to introduce pop-up hubs in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley that will support families and young children to gain the literacy skills they need in life. Local Hub Manager for the National Literacy Trust, Gaganpreet Basra, added:

"We are excited to be launching our first four pop-up hubs in the Black Country, and look forward to many families coming along to get involved in the events.

"Thanks to the generous support of Walker Books, children who attend can also take home their very own copy of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to help them continue the fun and learning at home."

The National Literacy Trust is also providing training for Early Years professionals and giving advice to share with local families. These activities are all part of a new early years vision to improve the support for children living in areas at the highest risk of low literacy.

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