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Big DoG takes authors on schools tour

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By Fiona Reid
Big DoG takes authors on schools tour

A TRIO of children’s authors and storytellers have been out and about this week visiting schools locally and spreading the love of reading.

They went to 37 schools to engage with over 2000 pupils and donate 100 books as part of The Big DoG Schools Tour, a spin off from the Big DoG festival of children’s literature organised each year in Dumfries by Wigtown Festival Company.

Taking part were Eve Wersocki-Morris; Holly Sterling, an international karate champion; and Sarah Coyle.

And their itinerary included schools at Belmont, St Joseph’s RC, Rephad, Sandhead, Park, Creetown, Wigtown, Port William, Penninghame, Whithorn, Gatehouse-of-Fleet, Hardgate CD, Auchencairn, Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas, St Andrew’s RC, Troqueer, Dunscore, Locharbriggs, Cargenbridge, St Andrew’s RC, Newington Annan, Lockerbie, Gretna, Elmvale Annan and Moffat.

Eve said: “I’m really looking forward to sharing my latest book The Wildstorm Curse with the children of Dumfries and Galloway.

“Visiting schools is one of the most important and rewarding parts of being a children’s author – inspiring kids to become readers can change lives; not only because reading improves literacy but because reading improves empathy, confidence and imagination.

“I’m dyslexic – just like the main character in The Wildstorm Curse – and reading, even though I found it tricky, gave me the courage to never give up on my dreams, just like the heroes in the stories I loved.”

Andy Stewart, from Wigtown Festival Company said: “The Big DoG Schools Tour has quickly become one of our annual highlights. We really look forward to working with schools of all sizes and in many different communities – helping teachers with the challenges they face after the disruption to education caused by covid.

“Encouraging a child to enjoy reading is just so important – one of the most valuable investments you can make to help them achieve success in later life, as well as opening the doors to a whole universe of amazing stories and experiences.”

The Big DoG Schools Tour is supported by Kilgallioch Community Benefit Company, Annandale and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company and Baillie Gifford. The hospitality partners are Gretna Hall Hotel and The Cairndale Hotel.

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