Haven Holidays

Haven Holidays

May 20, 2011 01:00 ET

Letterland Characters Brought to Life on Haven Family Holiday Parks This Summer

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - A popular scheme used to teach generations of children how to read is being brought to life on stage for the first time in its 43-year history.

The famous Letterland characters, all based on letters of the alphabet including Annie Apple, Bouncy Ben and Clever Cat, are being turned into costume performers to encourage children on holiday at Haven holiday parks to take an interest in books and reading.

This will be the first time the characters have featured in a live show in the UK.

Providing a unique range of phonics products, Letterland was created in 1968 by former special needs teacher Lyn Wendon. By now her characters have become familiar to generations of children across the world as her company, Letterland International run by her son Mark Wendon, supplies Letterland books, software, toys and games to 111 countries.

This exciting initiative comes just two years after Haven, which has 35 family holiday parks in the UK, was at the forefront of another scheme, backed by Reading4Life, to encourage children to read. As part of this initiative Letterland produced a Treasure Hunt which is now a weekly event that takes place on all Haven Parks.

Mrs Wendon, 83, who is still actively involved as creative director in Letterland International, said: "We're thrilled that the characters are being brought to life so children can see them on stage in an exclusive show and get involved in a brand new play which I've written especially for this project.

"I think this is a beautiful combination – reading and holidays. It's great that this is happening on holiday parks as it will reinforce the message that letters and reading are fun and are wonderful to share with the whole family."

Mrs Wendon added: "All my life I have wanted to make sure children not only learn to read but also enjoy learning to read, so they become readers for life.

"Studies have shown that reading skills make all the difference not just to school success but to success in adult life as well. Few things make as much difference for a successful adult as developing the habit of reading, enjoying it, and therefore reading widely."

Several of the Letterland characters – including Annie Apple, Bouncy Ben, Clever Cat and Lucy Lamp Light - are helping to ensure the success of a series of special four-night breaks at Haven holiday parks.

The fun includes treasure hunts, games and songs and will culminate in a stage production in which up to 100 children on the break can take part (as letters of the alphabet). All the children taking part in the shows will receive a goody bag worth £50 including a Letterland DVD, books, activities and other materials.

A Haven spokesperson said: "We're delighted to be working with Letterland in this very exciting project that is bound to be hugely popular with families on our Parks. The characters are really very special and kids do love them."

The breaks are taking place at Combe Haven on the Sussex coast from Monday May 16th; Hafan y Mor in North Wales from Monday June 13th; Thorpe Park on the Lincolnshire coast from Monday June 20th and Devon Cliffs near Exmouth from Monday July 4th.

The breaks start at £219 in two-bedroom Superior self-catering accommodation that can sleep a family of up to six.

For more information visit www.haven.com or call 0871 230 1900

Note to Editors

Letterland

Letterland is a unique, phonics-based approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling to 3-8 year olds in a fun and entertaining way. Sold in over 100 countries, Letterland's award-winning books and software have helped countless young children learn to read, write and spell.

If you would like to find out more about Letterland visit www.letterland.com where there are fun activities to download.

The Free goody bag contains Detective Dippy Duck DVD, First Picture Word Book, Height Chart, Parents Leaflet, Bookmark, First Alphabet Activity Pack, Sheet of alphabet stickers and 4 Letterland toys.

Haven is Britain's No 1 family holiday company with 35 holiday parks all in stunning locations in the UK. In 2009 six holiday parks took part in an innovative scheme to encourage families to read. Called Great Family Escapes, it involved presenting holidaymakers with a selection of free books including something for everyone from a romantic novel for mums to an SAS adventure for boys.

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