Zoe Toft runs the fantastic site Playing by the Book which reviews kids’ books and ‘the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do’. Zoe has kindly included this blog about GAB on the excellent site The Federation for Children’s Book Groups. Zoe posted:
Today’s post is a little different: I recently came across Magic Breakfast Book Clubs, a brilliant project giving free breakfasts and books to kids at schools and so I asked Give A Book, the charity which is donating the books to the scheme, to tell us a little more about it.
“Give a Book is a UK based charity that started in 2011 with the sole aim of giving books where they will be of particular benefit. Our core belief is that to pass on a good read – to give someone a book – is a transaction of worth.
We provide practical solutions to help disadvantaged people in local areas by working with schools, the local community and partnering with other organisations to provide books to encourage literacy and an enjoyment of reading. Our books go directly to schools and a range of charities, including the following: Age UK, Beanstalk, First Story, Maggie’s Centres & Six Book Challengers.
Our newest project is the Magic Breakfast Book Clubs. Working with Magic Breakfast we set up a pilot scheme for Magic Breakfast Book Clubs — books for breakfast for primary school children, hungry in all sorts of ways.
We gave 100 new books, notebooks and pencils to a school located in an area where 73% of children come from income deprived households. Whilst attending their breakfast club, the children are enjoying the new books and it is helping them engage more with reading and literacy in a more fun environment. This club has been very successful and we are now rolling it out to 6 new schools around London. We are now also getting interest from schools in other areas and hope to expand our work on a more national basis.
The books from ‘Give a Book’ have been very much appreciated by the children and their families.
Books are not always a high priority for many of our families; so it is good to know that the children have received quality books appropriate to their age and level. Teachers have loved the fact that they have had the opportunity of being able to choose books which relate to a topic or an author they have been studying …. which has meant that the children may be more motivated to read. In the case of the younger children, we are delighted that favourite class books such as ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ or ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ have gone home ‘to keep’ – it is reassuring that they possess at least one child’s book which we might take for granted with our own children. We have all experienced that joy of re-reading a well-known book as a child(and an adult) and I am confident our children and families are making the most of this opportunity.”
We have also given books to every child in a school for excluded children, where there were no books at all. We have been able to stock a library in a school that had none. We also keep up our regular gifts of books to Age UK, Maggie’s Centres and a mother and baby refuge where they can’t get out to get any kind of reading matter at all. We give an annual donation to Beanstalk. We give books to First Story, to encourage the pupils to read as well as write. We gave books for their festival, and gifted each participating pupil an individual book for Christmas.
Every £5 donation gives a book to someone who really needs one. It’s easy, simply donate via our website www.giveabook.org.uk and we will do the rest. We use donations to source new books at cost price, then package and post the books to the various charities and schools.
If you are looking for a great excuse to pass on that good read, make a donation and help someone else enjoy the pleasure of books, because reading really does matter!”
Thanks, Adeela and Zoe.