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      Friday 08 Mar 2013

      The George Best Belfast City Airport Community Fund has announced its support of this year’s John Hewitt Society World Book Day Celebration.

      The funding support is an extension of the airports ‘Time to Read’ initiative whereby employees from the airport visit local schools to encourage reading from a young age.
      Ahead of the event, which takes place in the Waterfront Hall on Sunday 10th March 2013, and to celebrate World Book Day (7th March), Paula Bittles, from Belfast City Airport, visited Knocknagoney Primary School to support P6 pupils with the development of their reading skills.

      Paula Bittles, who sits on the airport’s Community Fund Committee, said:

      “Our ‘Time to Read’ programme has been part of our Corporate Responsibility strategy for a number of years and as an avid reader, it’s certainly a project I’m very proud to be involved with.

      “Meeting with the pupils each week is a great opportunity for us to engage with the young people in our community, encouraging creativity, enthusiasm and confidence whilst they develop their own skills.

      “The John Hewitt Society World Book Day Celebration event is a perfect event for us to support as it ties in with our vision and strategy of supporting local education.

      “Live book readings from best-selling authors Cathy Cassidy and Colin Bateman will inspire children to get involved and develop a passion for reading at a young age.

      “Support from our Community Fund has provided our adopted schools with tickets to the event and I know they are very much looking forward to hearing excerpts from Cathy and Colin’s titles.”

      Ann Burton, Principal of Knocknagoney Primary School said:

      “Children are not just the readers of tomorrow, but they are also the authors of tomorrow so it is crucial that they are encouraged to engage with literature and enjoy books from a young age.

      “I’m delighted with the partnership we have with the airport and their employees in providing extra support and encouragement for our pupils.

      “I know our pupils also always look forward to having employees from the airport in to tell them all about the book they are currently reading.”

      Supporting young people within the greater Belfast area is key to the airport’s Corporate Responsibility strategy and to that end; the airport has also recently launched a ‘High Flier’ Apprenticeship scheme providing work placements for up to 10 people.

      Tony Kennedy OBE, Director of the John Hewitt Society said:
      “The Society is grateful to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for its continuing support and to the George Best Belfast City Airport whose sponsorship has enabled us to support this year’s World Book Day”.
      Belfast City Airport takes 'Time to Read' with local school children

      For more information about George Best Belfast City Airport and its Community Fund which has now provided financial support for almost 60 community groups and projects, please click here

      Queries can also be answered to via the airport’s Twitter and Facebook sites.

      A video of Paula reading with P6 pupils from Knocknagoney Primary School can be seen here:!/photo.php?v=570869014618