Young Readers Programme

Children enjoying the 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.

About the programme

The Young Readers Programme is:

  • Changing the lives of disadvantaged children

    25% of children left primary school last year unable to read properly. This increases to 40% for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. A love of reading can change their lives.

  • Giving children brand-new books

    Through a series of fun events, we give disadvantaged children the opportunity to choose books that they can take home and keep. These are often the first books they have ever owned.

  • Award-winning

    The programme has been running for over 20 years. In recent years, we have been awarded the the 2018 Charity Times Award 2018 for Corporate Local Involvement for our partnership with British Land and the Corporate Engagement Bronze Award 2017 for our partnership with WHSmith.

  • Free

    As part of the programme, schools and other partner organisations also receive training, ongoing support and membership of the National Literacy Trust. There is no cost to the schools, teachers or children for taking part and, wherever possible, expenses (including travel) are covered.

Success stories

Since 1996, the Young Readers Programme has given over 1.2 million books to over 411,000 children. Our most recent evaluation of the Young Readers Programme showed that:

  • 9 in 10 teachers told us that pupils were proud at having books of their own
  • 9 in 10 teachers told us that the programme had a positive impact on reading for their most reluctant readers
  • 9 in 10 pupils valued being able to choose a book for themselves
  • More than twice as many children enjoy reading very much as a result of taking part in the programme
  • More than twice as many children would now describe themselves as good readers in comparison to before the programme

Thank you to those who fund and support the Young Readers Programme