Community groups and food banks across Wales have added children’s books to the list of resources and support they are able to provide for families from this spring. As part of the Welsh Government’s book-gifting campaign, the Books Council of Wales have supplied over 40,000 books to food banks, community organisations and other local groups to make books available to children and young people in their local communities.

Nurturing a love of reading sits at the core of the Books Council of Wales’ work. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic they have delivered several book-gifting campaigns with selected groups such as families, young carers and looked-after children. Providing books and resources was one way to support children and families through the effects of the pandemic, such as social isolation and the impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

One of the main aims of this Schools Love Reading book-gifting programme is to provide a choice of high-quality and engaging reading resources for families to use at home.

“It’s been wonderful to work with our friends and partners at the Trussell Trust, FareShare Cymru, IFAN (Independent Food Aid Network) and many community groups across Wales to deliver these books for children and young people. We chose these high-quality books from amongst the best-selling titles produced by publishers in Wales to include a wide range of age ranges, subjects and titles so that everyone can choose the right book for them. We’d like to thank all the publishers who have worked so hard to make these books available for children across Wales to enjoy.”

Shoned Davies, Schools Love Reading Project Manager at the Books Council of Wales

This is the first stage in the book-gifting scheme. The next stages of this multi-million-pound investment in reading engagement include the gift of an individual book for every learner between the ages of 3 and 16 via all state schools in Wales, and a programme of Schools Gifting, where each state school will receive a specially chosen selection of books for their school library.

The Schools Love Reading programme will mean that learners across Wales have equal access to a diverse range of appealing and quality literature, in Welsh and English, that has been specially selected for children and young people.

“Reading is a fundamental skill in just about every aspect of life. I want to ignite a passion for reading for all our children and families. Through this exciting book-gifting initiative, as part of the £5m additional funding from Welsh Government, I want to ensure that every learner in Wales has a book of their own to keep.”

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language

About the publishers
The books included in this phase of the Schools Love Reading programme are high-quality titles from amongst the best-selling children’s books produced by publishers in Wales. They cover a variety of age ranges, subjects and include titles in both Welsh and English, so that every child or family can choose the right book for them.

Participating publishers are:
Graffeg Publishing
Firefly Press
Candy Jar Books
Welsh Children’s Books by Dref Wen
Rily Publications
Y Lolfa

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