How Manchester Airport has children reaching for the sky

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Martin Moodie

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Meet Adam.

Adam’s grandad inspired him to become a pilot. To follow his dreams.

Adam is the subject of ‘Reach for the Sky’ a new (and free) children’s book from Manchester Airport and written by Wendy Sinfield, the airport’s Community Relations Manager.

The book forms part of Manchester Airport’s 80th birthday celebrations. It tells an enchanting story about travel, determination and achieving your dreams. To support the launch, Manchester Airport is offering a range of school initiatives, to support children’s reading across its vast catchment area. It is also giving away 5,000 copies of the book to schools across the region.

And here’s a really nice touch. In addition to a copy of the book, the airport is also giving schools the chance to have an aviation assembly where the books will be presented alongside an interactive airport workshop.

The airport is also re-branding its existing Six Book Challenge using pictures from the book. The Six Book Challenge is in partnership with the Read Manchester Campaign, where pupils are challenged to read six different books in a variety of situations and locations. This challenge introduces the importance of reading for enjoyment, a welcome initiative in an age where children increasingly have a superglue-like bond with their games devices.

Manchester Airport is even launching a writing competition, for which it will ask pupils to write a sequel to ‘Reach For The Sky’ [in my case it would be titled ‘Never out of the Sky’ – Ed]. The winning school will win a series of magical workshops from the book’s illustrator, Gabrielle Dow*. Gabrielle will work with the whole school to write and illustrate their own printed children’s book.

What a brilliant way of fostering an airport’s links to the community. Manchester Airport Chief Operating Officer Tricia Williams summed it up nicely, noting, “What better way to reach out to the flyers or workforce of the future? As well as being fun and entertaining our very first children’s book will also inform and educate, with our staff going into assemblies to inspire pupils with their tales of airport life.”

I couldn’t agree more. Airports are such an important reflection of a city, region and country and everything that can be done to affirm that relationship should be applauded.

*Note: Wendy Sinfield’s book was illustrated by Gabrielle Dow from the Fantastic Fiction Factory. She is a children’s writer and illustrator specialising in the development and delivery of school workshops and theme weeks.

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