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Children from schools from all over Wales will be taking part in an exercise that could ultimately increase the number of talking books available to blind and visually impaired children in Wales

We will be visiting five towns and inviting primary and secondary school children to bring along with them their favourite book. They will be asked to record excerpts from those books with the view of completing the exercise in their schools as a special project in the coming months.

The over riding aim is to highlight the service provided by Talking Books Wales in both languages in the hope that the number of listeners can be increased.

Our first stop this year will be Siop Cyfoes in Ammanford on 24 November when the prolific Welsh author, Alun Gibbard will address the pupils of Amman Valley Comprehensive school. Pupils from Ysgol Evan James, Pontypridd and Caerffili Welsh School will congregate at Siop Y Bont on the Tuesday and face the mikes; Children from both sections of Ysgol Bro Pedr, Lampeter will have a chance to listen to Elinor Wyn Reynolds of Gwasg Gomer on the Wednesday in Bron Deifi vestry, while the award winning author, Bethan Gwanas will have a chat with pupils from four schools in Bala on Thursday Nov 27. The journey ends in Mold with visits to two schools there.

“ We hope the children will enjoy reading their books themselves”, said Sulwyn Thomas, chair of Talking Books Wales, “ Who better than children reading for children less fortunate than themselves. There has been keen interest in the project before hand. We were encouraged to repeat what we did in two sessions at this year’s National Eisteddfod , when children, with no warning, were given the chance to read in front of a microphone. It went very well and I am sure we will have fun again. The ideal follow-up will be that schools will record the complete books as a project and that will mean extra, much needed,material for the visually impaired”

Anyone who would like to know more about our service can visit u –
Monday, 24 November – Siop Cyfoes, Ammanford
Tuesday 25 November – Siop Y Bont, Pontypridd
Wednesday 26 November – Siop y Smotyn Du/ Bron Deifi, Lampeter
Thursday 27 November – Siop Awen Meirion,/ Canolfan Henblas Bala
Friday 28 November – Ysgol Maes Garmon and Ysgol Glanrafon, Mold
Morning sessions start at 10am: afternoon sessions at 1pm

Contact Sulwyn Thomas, 01267 235385 / 07778435765 for further information
Talking Books Wales was set up, initially as the Welsh Cassette Scheme in 1979, by Rhian Evans, Carmarthen after losing her sight. The service has grown throughout the years with more than 2000 titles available in both Welsh and English on CD and Cassette for the blind and visually impaired. In 2012 the service received substantial National Lottery funding to improve and extend the service.

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