Green Man Trust funding reignites love for reading at Brecon primary school

Ellie Powell, Lola McNinch and Isla Collins in Year 5, Ryan Hardwick in Year 6, Akif Goktas in year 3 and Acting Headteacher Claire Pugh with Fiona Stewart (middle)

Priory Church in Wales School bought a book vending machine thanks to a £2000 grant from Green Man Trust 

Priory Church in Wales School in Brecon now has a fully stocked book vending machine, thanks to a grant of £2000 from the Green Man Trust.

Acting Headteacher Claire Pugh wanted to get her pupils reading again following the Covid lockdowns, as she and her colleagues had noticed children were disengaged from reading when they returned to school. Her idea for exciting the children about books was a book vending machine. The machine dispenses a book that the child chooses as a birthday gift or as a reward.

Miss Pugh got in touch with the school’s Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to help find a way to get the funds to buy the vending machine. PTA member Ellie Powell decided to apply to the Green Man Trust Community Grant offer and was successful.

 

Claire Pugh explained: “The children were really struggling to get back into reading when they returned to school as they were so used to working on digital devices, and we wanted a way to get them excited about books and reading again.

“The vending machine is an innovative way of building that excitement. They get to see what books are being displayed, what their friends are picking and wait their turn to get their own token and choose a book. So far it has worked a treat.

“Each pupil gets a token for their birthday or as a reward for good behaviour and work and comes along to the vending machine to choose a book. The excitement and anticipation is palpable as they make their decisions, and it has turned our children back into the bookworms they previously were, which is amazing to see.”

 

Claire added: “We are so grateful to the Green Man Trust for awarding us the grant to buy the machine, as it would have taken us years to raise the funds to afford something like this and the children love it so much.

“We are still raising funds through the PTA to keep the vending machine stocked, but the reaction of the children and their parents to the books they get to take home has been wonderful to see.”

 

Community support is in the DNA of the Green Man and for over 22 years they have donated to local community groups and schools worth thousands of pounds. Schools supported by the festival and the Trust include Llangattock, Llanganydr, Lambedr, Cwmdu Primary and Crickhowell High School.

This year, the Trust formalised its annual Community Grant of £10,000 for initiatives located in Powys to improve quality of life, promote inclusion and diversity or help tackle loneliness. The Priory Church primary school is one of a number of local recipients funded through the new Green Man Trust Community Grant.

 

Fiona Stewart, founder of the Green Man Trust and Managing Director of the Green Man Festival, visited the school to see the vending machine in action. She said: “I have massive respect for the teaching profession. Their importance in our society is paramount, they are the architects of our future and should be supported in any way possible. Miss Pugh’s idea is such an innovative way of connecting children to books. Her enthusiasm and obvious care she has for her pupils, community and school is inspiring. We were delighted to support Priory School.

“Coming here, and meeting so many interesting, enthusiastic children has been brilliant. Listening to the children talk about their love of their vending machine, and their critique of books they enjoy; hearing  them read has been really heartwarming and we are looking forward to working with the school, and others in the area, again in the future.”

 

Green Man as a festival is all about opportunities, from supporting emerging artists and offering real-world professional training, to getting people engaged with science and inspiring positive change in communities too. As its charitable arm, The Green Man Trust was created to ‘make good stuff happen’ and give these opportunities a life of their own all year round, with over 10,000 people supported, 168 grants awarded since and £1,250,000 raised for good causes to inspire positive change in Welsh communities since.