We first started this project back in 2013, working with Magic Breakfast and other sponsors on a pilot scheme providing books alongside 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 were from income deprived households. The idea was always to get children enjoying books and helping them engage with reading and literacy in a more fun environment.
We continue to support some schools on a longer term basis both with the Breakfast Book Clubs and with other school reading projects. There is an ongoing need, as there are growing numbers of pupils in areas where books and reading are not part of everyday home life. The clubs fill a gap to encourage more reading for pleasure. We now work with other partners who sponsor this popular scheme.
Now in its seventh year, we have helped set up 28 Breakfast Book Clubs so far, including 7 in 2019/2020.
Our crowdfunding campaign Breakfast Fully Booked helped us raise over £7,000 to start at least 10 new Breakfast Book Clubs in 2021. The recent lockdown has highlighted the importance of this opportunity to support reading for pleasure at the start of the school day.
May 2021: Our new Breakfast Book Club at St Eanswythes School sent us the following pictures, showing the pupil’s responses to the new project.
April 2021: Even with a challenging start to the year, we have already managed to set up three new Breakfast Book Clubs in Harwich, Folkestone and Birmingham.
The pandemic hit schools hard, particularly those in deprived areas. We were able to continue supporting our schools with books which were a lifeline when there was very little staff and pupils could do. With the hardships that the schools have faced, we are delighted that these three Breakfast Book Clubs have gone ahead. Despite running for only a short period of time so far, we have received great feedback already and look forward to set up more in the coming months.
“I found some boys sharing books, they seemed really calm and engrossed. One has severe SEN so it was lovely to see!” Breakfast Book Club leader
February 2020: Read our interview about Breakfast Book Clubs in the Big Issue.
“I think the new reading area is good because when you’re reading it takes you into your own little world.”
“I can see the impact the Breakfast Book Club and parent readers are having on my class, just having some 1:1 time to share a love of reading is such a wonderful sight.”
“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.”