Children are growing up in Croydon without any books of their own.
Without books and a love of reading, their life chances will be drastically affected. With every £5,000 we raise, 100 disadvantaged children will receive brand new books and support to give them a love of reading that will help them succeed in life.
Books, and the ability to read them, make a huge difference to children’s lives.
Children who can read well and who have books of their own do better at school, have improved mental wellbeing and lead more successful lives. They learn how to communicate, how to empathise, and how to build strong relationships as they grow.
When a child has their own books, they are three times more likely to read above the level expected for their age – but our recent research has found that almost 60,000 children in London don’t own a single book.
Nearly 1 in 3 disadvantaged children in Croydon leave primary school unable to read properly.
16% of children in Croydon live in low income households. Faced with multiple challenges, these families struggle to provide children with books. These children leave primary school without the reading skills they need for life.
The local schools these children attend, such as Croydon’s Paxton Academy, are faced with unprecedented funding pressures, further reducing their pupils’ access to books:
“Our school is in a deprived area – over 60% of the children are on Pupil Premium. Lots of the children don’t have any books at home, and because of our lack of books they can’t take any home either. There are fewer reading books than there are children in our school.” - Ben Foley, Director of Teaching and Learning, Paxton Academy
Croydon’s Young Readers Programme will give books to children who need them the most.
The National Literacy Trust has been running the Young Readers Programme for over 20 years. In that time, we’ve given out 1.2 million books to 411,000 disadvantaged children all across the UK.
Our most recent evaluation of the programme showed that:
- 100% of teachers said they had noticed positive changes in children’s reading enjoyment
- 95% of teachers said children were more motivated to read having taken part in the project
- 93% of teachers felt the project had a positive impact on children’s reading skills
The Young Readers Programme introduces children to the magic of reading. Across a school year, they take part in fun, book-themed events, and choose three brand new books of their own to take home and keep – often the first they have ever owned.
We have been approached by a number of schools in Croydon desperate to deliver the programme but to date, we haven’t been able to secure funding in the area. As Paxton Academy teacher Ben Foley puts it: “Without the opportunity for the children to actually hold a book in their hands or flick through the pages, it’s hard to instil the love of reading.”
We want to change that for good.
Croydon, we need your help!
Running our Young Readers Programme in one school costs £5,000. The money will be used to provide around 100 children with three books each, as well as running fun, educational events to encourage a love of reading in the children and wider school.
£20 would help us give three books to a disadvantaged child.
The more we raise, the more schools we can reach. We want to bring the Young Readers Programme to as many high need schools in Croydon as possible with this project – so any donation, big or small, is hugely appreciated.
Meet the team
Lizzie Jones, Young Readers Programme Manager, says: "Many of the children we work with simply do not have books of their own at home. It’s a joy to see these children develop a love of reading over the course of the programme!”
Jasmine Tucker, Young Readers Project Manager, says: "Watching the faces of the children light up when they realise the books are actually theirs to keep is such a magical moment."
17/02 - We're so excited to have hit the £5k target to fund the programme in our first school in Croydon! Huge thank you to Mott MacDonald for their amazing support - we can't wait to bring the magic of books to our first school.
13/03 - it's been amazing to see everyone donating and sharing their supportive comments - we are so grateful!
15/03 - we're officially over the £6k mark thanks to a £500 donation from Scanning Pens!