Primary schools in Stoke-on-Trent will receive a brand new Instant Library from KPMG, the National Literacy Trust and Stoke Reads. The initiative supports children whose literacy and learning has been profoundly affected by COVID-19. This builds on an earlier Instant Library donation from KPMG in Spring to support schools that remained open for vulnerable children and children of keyworkers.
Belgrave St Bartholomew’s Academy and Alexandra Junior School will receive 30 brand new books published by Penguin Random House as well as engaging and entertaining reading and writing activities that can be used in the classroom and at home. The schools will also receive National Literacy Trust membership for one year, giving teachers access to hundreds of inspiring resources, school improvement tools and online training.
The initiative is supported by bestselling and award-winning children’s authors and illustrators Sam Copeland, Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola. In addition to receiving an Instant Library containing Sam Copeland’s hilarious Charlie Changes into a Chicken (Puffin) and Nathan Byron and Dapo Adeola’s joyous Look Up! (Puffin), some schools may receive school visits from the trio later this academic year, when social distancing measures allow them to do so.
What’s more, a series of storytelling videos featuring Copeland, Byron and Adeola that were created for Puffin Storytime this summer are also available for schools in Stoke-on-Trent to access for free to help inspire pupils’ love of reading all year round.
Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that school libraries nurture a love of reading that can enrich children’s literacy skills, academic achievements and mental wellbeing. However almost half (44%) of schools serving the most disadvantaged communities in the UK do not have one. This initiative hopes to bring comfort and inspiration to children in Stoke-on-Trent through the power of stories.
Over the summer, a number of volunteers from KPMG undertook virtual storytelling training with the National Literacy Trust to help promote reading for pleasure in schools. All schools who receive an Instant Library will also get a video from one of 30 KPMG volunteers who have recorded themselves reading Billy and the Beast, written and illustrated by Nadia Shireen.
Rachel Hopcroft, Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said:
“We are delighted to be launching the second phase of our Reading the Future campaign this week, in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust. Helping improve literacy levels across the UK has long been at the heart of our Corporate Responsibility agenda, and now, during this time of crisis, it is more important than ever that we work together to address the widening disadvantage gap.
“Business can have an enormous impact, especially when working alongside fantastic charities such as the National Literacy Trust; whether that’s through leveraging networks, offering resources, volunteering time or expertise. I’m delighted KPMG volunteers will be supporting Reading the Future schools through virtual storytelling, to bring this fantastic collection of books to life and develop essential literacy skills.”
Lois Bateman, Stoke Reads Project Manager, said:
“We’re delighted that KPMG are gifting Instant Libraries to schools in Stoke. Local children have experienced severe disruption to their education this year and we know that school libraries play a vital role in supporting children’s literacy, learning and wellbeing. We’re thrilled that author and illustrator ambassadors Nathan Bryon, Dapo Adeola and Sam Copeland are supporting the donations and know they’ll play a huge part in bringing the magic of their stories to children who need them the most.”
Dan Jones, teacher at Belgrave St. Bartholomew's Academy, said:
“We are incredibly grateful for the donation to our school. There is a fantastic range of books that are suitable for all ages of children to read and enjoy. They can't wait to get stuck into them!"
The initiative is part of KPMG’s Reading the Future campaign which celebrates the firm’s 150th anniversary and marks its longstanding commitment to transforming disadvantaged communities through literacy, education and skills. In total, KPMG will donate Instant Libraries to 150 primary schools, gifting 4,5000 brand new books and helping 22,500 children discover a love of reading.
View storytelling videos from Sam Copeland, Nathan Byron and Dapo Adeola via Puffin Storytime.
Visit the National Literacy Trust’s brand new Virtual School Library for a free ebook or audiobook, exclusive video and recommended reads from a different children’s author every week.