Since the first lockdown started in March, Read Manchester has gifted more than 22,000 books and magazines to help keep children reading. Their latest book gifting campaign with the support of Manchester Children’s Book Festival is to ensure that vulnerable children are given the gift of reading this Christmas.
The scheme is part of the city’s effort to reduce barriers to reading for Manchester children, following a National Literacy Trust survey in July 2020 which found that nearly 60% of children said reading made them feel better, and reading encouraged 50% to dream about the future. However, access to books had a direct impact on reading behavior. Children and young people who did not have their own books, or access to books they liked, read less frequently than before the first lockdown.
Sixty local organisations are set to receive books for the children they help. These include foodbanks, community groups, Sure Start Children’s Centres and organisations supporting homeless families.
Book publishers have also been keen to support the campaign by gifting free books to Read Manchester. Various publishers, including Hachette, Otter-Barry Books, Old Barn Books, Usborne and Chicken House have collectively donated over 1,800 books. Penguin Random House have also contributed a substantial donation of 10,000 books as part of their support for the National Literacy Trust Hubs programme.
The Manchester Central Library Development Trust is raising funds to help Read Manchester to provide books and other educational resources directly to families across the city. To support the campaign, go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/mancbookgifting.