Edinburgh Napier’s Books for Schools Initiative took place this week, mobilising the new class of MSc Publishing students to distribute books to students all over the city. This initiative promotes not only literacy, but also the amazing publications produced by previous students for Merchiston Publishing. Our group (Team Black), made up of Claire Cunningham, Franzi Heydrich, Imogen McBean and Shelly Neal, were assigned the areas of Muirhouse and Pilton. We were asked to choose one school to present with books published by Merchiston Publishing. Team Black decided upon Ferryhill Primary School after researching the schools’ size and we were then reassured in our decision after hearing about their winter module focusing on Scottish authorship. Merchiston’s 2011 live project of the Scottish classic The Kelpie’s Pearls, by Mollie Hunter, was the publishing house’s first children’s book.
When Deputy Head Teacher Susan Reid heard of the initiative, she stated, “It ties in perfectly with the lessons on Scottish culture and language that we’re going to have after Christmas this year. It is a great opportunity for the children to experience Scottish literature first hand.”
Early Monday afternoon, our team bussed down to Ferryhill and had the joy of presenting a class set of The Kelpie’s Pearls to Mrs Reid, who graciously accepted them. We also had the chance to chat to her about the value of books and she said that these days in education books were like gold dust. Mrs Reid also suggested that Edinburgh Napier and Merchiston Publishing develop a stamp to advertise their donations and allow for all readers to know exactly where the books had come from. Team Black left Ferryhill happy, knowing that we contributed to promoting literacy in the local community, as well as spreading Merchiston Publishing’s works for the benefit of children.