Winners announced in Bradford garden centre competition to support literacy project

The team at Tong Garden Centre has announced the winners of a competition that it ran with Bradford Stories, for children to win prizes to play at its new indoor play area.

Pupils at more than 20 Bradford schools were invited to create a name and a story for one of two new characters at Grass Hoppers indoor play that opens this weekend. The schools were selected by Bradford Stories, a National Literacy Trust hub to improve literacy levels in the city by promoting reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

Eight-year-old Amelia from Beckfoot Nessfield Primary School named the new spider, ‘Incy’ and part of her winning story read ‘I don’t like putting my shoes on to play out because I have to tie eight laces.’

Incy’s new friend at Grass Hoppers indoor and outdoor play is a caterpillar who was aptly named ‘Nibbles’ by Knowles Wood Primary School pupil Mahnoor, also aged eight. She made reference to eating ‘juicy leaves and tasty petals for dinner, lunch and breakfast’ in her story. 

Tong Garden Centre’s Marketing Manager, Jo Dales organised the competition and was delighted with the quality of the entries. “We wanted to celebrate the opening of the new play area in a way that supports the great work of our charity of the year Bradford Stories, so we launched this competition to encourage children to be creative in naming and describing the new characters that will bring Grass Hoppers to life.

“We’re very pleased with how the competition has gone – it seems like the children and teachers really got on board with it which is great to see!”

The winners will receive a Grass Hoppers goody bag and a free play pass for themselves, plus a ‘class pass’ that gives all of the winner’s school class a free play at Grass Hoppers and Bradford Stories also rewarded the winners with a bundle of books for their classroom.

Imran Hafeez, manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford commented: “This fabulously pulled together concept was well received by the schools – and I loved reading the winning entries.

“For the winners to have their efforts recognised and marked in this way is fantastic. It will be a real confidence boost for them and will leave a lasting impression on those taking part. – Thanks, Tong Garden Centre for being on the mark!”

Tong Garden Centre occupies a 14 acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire’s biggest garden centres with 110,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 1,000 cars.

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