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A literacy project helped kids make sense of the global pandemic and continues to support a new generation of readers .
There ' s no question that COVID has taken its toll on children ' s mental health all over the world . One joint mall initiative , however , gave youngster in Stockton-on-Tees , UK , a creative outlet to express what life during the pandemic had been like for them . Castlegate and Wellington Square asked local children to share their experiences in writing and note what they ' d like
... a creative outlet to express what life during the pandemic has been like for them .
other youths of the future to know about that period . From more than 600 stories , poems , and pictures submitted , the mall teams selected their favorite ones to include in Stockton Stories , a book whose sales proceeds would benefit the volunteer-led Bookmark literacy charity .
" We were overwhelmed not only by the number of entries we received for the competition , but [ also ] by the high standard of the entries . It made it very difficult to choose just 50 stories to include in the book ," said Castlegar and Wellington Square ' s marketing manager , Chantal Taylor .
The properties officially launched the book this past June 4 & 5 at a special event that all featured writers were invited to attend to highlight their contribution and give them a chance to read their stories out loud in the Story Book Corner , as did a few characters from the book who came to life . The contributors also received a prize and a certificate , while attending children got a free craft bag with everything they needed to make their own bookmarks .
According to the malls , more than 100 copies of Stockton Stories were sold at that launch event and further copies found their takers in the weeks that followed , generating much-needed funds for Bookmark — shoppers can visit the malls ' websites to find out more about the title and where to grab copies . The book also earned Taylor a few accolades , including an Unsung Heroes nod at the Knight Frank Promise Awards , and both properties earned Customer Experience and Employee Excellence awards that same evening .
" The Teeside community is so important to us and is at the heart of all the campaigns we run at Castlegate and Wellington Square ," Taylor said .
" We are all very excited for more community initiatives in 2022 ."
This shopping center team is all smiles after winning several awards for the " Stockton Stories " literacy project .
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