Young Readers Programme

Young Readers Programme

Many children in disadvantaged areas leave primary school unable to read well.  Through the Young Readers Programme, we give children in these areas the chance to choose new books to keep through a series of fun events.

Young Readers Programme

About the programme

One person in seven in the UK lives with poor literacy. This holds them back at every stage of their life.

However, research shows that reading for pleasure is one of the most effective ways to help children reach their full potential. The Young Readers Programme motivates children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to read for enjoyment.

Children are taught how to choose books they will enjoy, and take home books of their own to keep at events throughout the year. These are often the first books they have ever owned. 

Express your interest in the Young Readers Programme

The impact

The Young Readers Programme helps children to:

  • Enjoy reading more

    89% of teachers reported that children who have taken part in the programme have become more enthusiastic readers.

  • Become better readers

    9 in 10 teachers said their pupils’ reading attainment improved after taking part in the Young Readers Programme.

  • Be more confident readers

    Fewer children say that reading is difficult after taking part in the programme, and are more likely to read on their own initiative.

  • Have books of their own

    Since 1996, the Young Readers Programme has given over 1.1 million books to 384,196 disadvantaged primary school children.

Read the latest Young Readers Programme evaluation report.

Success stories

Our Young Readers Programme has been helping children to fall in love with reading since 1997.

What schools receive

Developing a whole school culture of reading for pleasure is key to improving children’s literacy. The Young Readers Programme provides training, resources and support to help schools and teachers feel better equipped to promote reading for enjoyment.

Schools taking part in the programme will receive:


  • Training

    Before the programme begins, schools will be given a training session for their nominated Project Coordinators.

  • Resources

    A handbook containing all the information and guidance you need to deliver Young Readers events in your school, as well as classroom resources focused on reading for pleasure.

  • Membership of the National Literacy Trust

    Available for five members of staff, providing access to tools and resources to help create a culture of reading for pleasure in your school.

  • Ongoing support

    Email and phone support for the duration of the project from one of our dedicated Project Managers.