The Open University’s Reading for Pleasure team have been working with Morrisons’ to shape a book donation initiative to encourage more children to read. Launching today, Morrisons’ ‘Children’s Little Library’ will be available nationwide in stores across England, Wales and Scotland.
Inspired by Canterbury-based children’s author, Rebecca Smith, who approached the OU and Morrisons, asking for help to tackle the issues surrounding children’s literacy and the lack of availability of books at home, Morrisons’ Children’s Little Library exchange will be available in every Morrisons’ store, where customers can donate unwanted books for children, teenagers and parents to pick up for free. Morrisons will also be donating 50,000 books and engaging local schools and community groups, via its Morrisons Community Champions.
“Reading books helps children to start conversations, spark imagination and support emotional wellbeing. The National Literacy Trust recently reported that children who own books are six times more likely to read above the level expected for their age, but that one in 11 disadvantaged children don’t own a single book.”
Reading benefits children and young people in so many ways and is especially vital after such a difficult and disruptive year, as it creates a safe space to escape and learn. It’s been great working with Morrisons to help make the Little Library idea a reality.”
David Potts, Morrisons CEO, commented: “The past year has been extremely difficult for everyone and we want to help as much as we can. We know that our younger customers love reading but some may not have access to books of their own. That’s why we’re launching the Morrisons Children’s Little Library – so every child has the chance to enjoy reading and brighten their future.”
Rebecca Smith, added: “To think that there are children who have never enjoyed a bedtime story is heart-breaking. Stories change lives. Every child and every parent should have access to that experience. The Morrisons Children’s Little Library provides that potentially life-changing access.”
To continue to support children’s literacy, Morrisons has created a new book – Cedric The Seed – and will be publishing 50,000 copies. The book will be distributed nationwide by Morrisons Community Champions to local community groups and schools to ensure they are reaching those who need them most.