Melissa York, Reporter
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Schoolchildren gave Camilla a right Royal welcome when she visited an interactive children’s centre to mark its 10th birthday.
The Duchess of Cornwall also dropped into the Discover Story Centre this morning to promote World Book Day on March 7, continuing her long-running work spreading her love of literature.
The centre on High Street, Stratford, is a unique place where families can enjoy playing, learning and making up stories together.
Lucky Yohannes Cekairse, six, was one of around 100 pupils from Carpenters Primary School, Stratford, invited to play on the day.
Wearing a scaly cape, Yohannes said: “The lady said I looked like a dragon so I breathed fire on her, like this, by puffing out my cheeks.
“I had my birthday here when I was five. You get to play here but in school it’s work, work, work.”
Helping to keep the children occupied was Mary Whiting, 22, who works as a Storyteller at Discover where she encourages children to interact with their environment.
After meeting the Duchess, Mary said: “She just asked me how long I’ve been working here and what a great space it was.”
The Royal party then made their way downstairs to a space-themed play area where schoolchildren where Camilla got stuck in learning the Space Alphabet and helping youngsters in space costumes search for Major Tom.
The Duchess asked one bespectacled schoolgirl: “Are you a Space Explorer?”
She responded: “No, I’m a pupil from Carpenters Primary School.”
The Duchess then joined the children in the storytelling area to hear Hannah Gibson, Philip Sheppard, and Kate Steel, the finalists of the World Book Day Storytelling Superstars competition, perform extracts from books.
Cllr Lester Hudson, Deputy Mayor of Newham, also met the Duchess as she arrived.
He said: “I’ve just been for a tour and it’s absolutely fascinating, just brilliant.
“The Story Centre encourages children to read and learn and enhances their imaginations.”