Aimed at encouraging young people to engage with literature and live events again after a two-year hiatus thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the Schools Program during the festival will be available to all primary and secondary school children.
The event is possible thanks to lead sponsor Baillie Gifford and in addition to the free tickets, every child attending in person will receive a free book. Free online resources will also be available on the Book Festival’s Learning site.
Rachel Fox, Children and Schools Program Director, said it is a “dream come true” to provide for Scottish children in such a positive way.
“We are over the moon to be able to offer every child of school age, from in and around Edinburgh and regardless of circumstance or financial means, the opportunity to engage with what we do,” she said.
“It really is a dream come true. While the world has been shut down, our young people are some of those who have suffered the most, so to be able to offer an entirely live and in-person program, completely free, really is something very special. “
Ms Fox added that they are aware the pandemic is far from over so it was important to continue offering a fully digital program for children who cannot attend in-person.
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The line-up for the Baillie Gifford Schools Program will be announced on April 27 and tickets can be booked from May 3.
Michelle McLeod, Sponsorship Manager at Baillie Gifford, said: “The Schools Program is an excellent way for schools to inspire and engage young people in books, and develop their love for reading.
“The festival team have worked incredibly hard to develop a wholly hybrid program for schools, making it easy for any primary or secondary to take part.
“Our partnership has always been one of collaboration and we are delighted to support the festival’s ambitions, helping to remove barriers for schools and pupils so they can fully enjoy the magic that the festival brings.”