For the love of reading

19 December 2022

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Bookmark is a charity dedicated to helping every child in the UK read. Taking a multi-faceted, joined-up approach, they transform a child’s story by partnering with schools helping them to create joyful, accessible whole school reading cultures. We are proud to have given to their Your Story Corner initiative, supplying schools in Leicester with carefully curated reading packs. 

An inability to read well can have a major impact on a person’s life chances. The data more than evidences the need to support children to become confident, able readers, helping them to have the best possible chance of being happy adults. According to a report by the National Literacy Trust, almost 1 in 5 children do not have access to books at home, and early findings suggests this is being exacerbated by the cost of living crisis, as 87% of parents say they have less disposable income, and just over half surveyed saying that books are simply too expensive. More than 1 in 4 children in the UK leave primary school unable to read well. Bookmark is working passionately to change this. 

This year we have a book budget of £0 due to changing government policy… The books Bookmark sent were so new, current, and well written, we could never have afforded to buy them ourselves. The children will now be exposed to modern and exciting literature that they simply would not have seen if they hadn’t been donated.’ 

~ Teacher, Your Story Corner recipient school

Bookmark is giving children the reading skills and confidence they need for a fair chance in life, through its flexible, volunteer-led programme. The charity pairs fully safeguarded, vetted, and trained, reading volunteers who will read with them (either online or in-person), giving them extra one-on-one support with their reading. Bookmark also creates and distributes Story Corner Magazines to children, so they have engaging, inspirational literature that is theirs to read at home. The magazines are brilliantly designed, packed full of games, stories, and activities, and printed on especially robust paper, so the activities can be enjoyed.

Systematically targeting the areas of the UK in need, Bookmark provides schools with Your Story Corner packs, which contain 200 high-quality and diverse books for children aged 4 – 9. They accompany the books with all sorts of exciting materials – personal notes from authors, colourful posters, educational resources – to help create excitement around the books, and, ultimately, to help schools to transform their reading culture. 

Identified as a social mobility cold spot, Leicester is the next city for Your Story Corner to be rolled out to. The Symondson Foundation’s grant to Bookmark will provide 56 schools (half of the 112-school target) with Your Story Corner Packs. We wholeheartedly believe that the charity’s unbridled enthusiasm combined with their evidence-based programme will lead to many more children finding joy and opportunity in reading.

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