Peterborough Reads has launched a book gifting campaign for the city’s most disadvantaged children this Christmas, thanks to support from the Peterborough United Foundation.
45,000 children in the East of England do not own a single book of their own, making them six times more likely to read below the expected level for their age. This is felt most acutely in Peterborough as research shows that the city has the greatest literacy need in the region. The book donations will unlock a love of reading for hundreds of disadvantaged children, and for many it will be the first book of their own.
Last year, local people donated 500 books to the scheme and we're hoping to surpass this target in 2021.
The books donated should be new copies and suitable for children aged 9-11. They can be dropped off or posted to either The Cresset or the Metro Bank by Friday 3 December and a list of suggested titles can be found here.
The book collection is just one way we're spreading Christmas cheer in Peterborough this year. Hub Manager Sally has recruited a team of Christmas Elves who will be gifting books at several settings before the end of term. The Cresset has also chosen Peterborough Reads as their charity partner for their Pantomime.
If you’d like to support the campaign but are unable to donate a book, you can still help change a child’s life story by making a donation on the National Literacy Trust website, or by texting PBREADS to 70085 to donate £7 to spark a love of reading for children in Peterborough this Christmas. (Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message).
Sally Atkinson, Manager for Peterborough Reads, said: “Members of the public often ask us how they can help our work and this is a really easy way to make a big difference.
“We ran a survey during the initial lockdown which showed that lots of children used reading as a way to make them feel better and 1 in 3 say they enjoy reading more. We want to make sure that every child in Peterborough can enjoy the many benefits of reading – from improved attainment to better wellbeing - and this is the way to do it. Thank you to everyone who donates a book!”
Gavin Slater, Community Manager for the Peterborough United Foundation said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Peterborough Reads book gifting scheme this year. Helping in education and literacy is one of our key themes and targets where we have supported the National Literacy Trust projects many times in the last few years. Knowing that so many local children do not own a single book, is disappointing. I would like to urge everyone that can, to make a financial contribution or to donate one of the exciting titles as a gift to a disadvantaged Peterborough child this Christmas.”