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News story

Young Readers Programme is gifting 1,000 pupils across Tyne and Wear books of their own thanks to The Sun

15 Jun 2020


From today, 1,000 primary school children from disadvantaged communities across Newcastle, Tyneside and Gateshead will be gifted two brand new books to keep through our Young Readers Programme, thanks to funding from The Sun’s 50th anniversary charity grant scheme.

Our research shows that children who have books of their own do better at school and have higher levels of mental wellbeing, yet 1 in 9 disadvantaged children in the North East do not own a single book.

For over 20 years, our Young Readers Programme has been dedicated to inspiring children from disadvantaged communities across the UK to fall in love with reading. Getting books into the hands of the children who need them most at this time is more vital than ever to help prevent them from falling further behind their peers after COVID-19 has caused a prolonged period away from schools and public libraries.

Our Young Readers Programme team have been working with the Greggs Foundation, a partner in our Read North East campaign, to identify 20 primary schools serving disadvantaged communities across Newcastle, Tyneside and Gateshead whose pupils will benefit the most from two brand new books they can take home and keep. For many of these children, these may be the first books they have ever owned.

All 2,000 books are kindly being provided by Walker Books. Titles include: Stormbreaker (Anthony Horrowitz), The Princess in Black (Shannon Hale), and I Believe in Unicorns (Michael Morpurgo) and many more!

We’re delighted to be able to bring the magic of reading into children’s homes by gifting them with two new books they can keep and ways to support their literacy learning at home. We are so grateful to have been awarded funding for this project from The Sun as part of their 50th anniversary celebration and to be working with the brilliant teams at Walker Books and the Greggs Foundation to bring this initiative to life and reach the children who need our support the most at this time.

Nick Oram, Young Readers Programme Manager

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