£100,000 worth of books donated to fifty primary schools in Barking & Dagenham


National children’s charity, Bookmark Reading, has donated £100,000 worth of new books to fifty state-funded primary schools in Barking & Dagenham. Children’s author Laura Mucha visited Southwood Primary School where the school received 200 new, high-quality and diverse children’s books as part of the Your Story Corner initiative.

The packs are being delivered to schools this week after a two-month period of schools applying for the scheme, with each Your Story Corner pack worth £2,000. The purpose of the charity’s donation is to help primary schools across Barking & Dagenham to develop a whole school reading culture, encouraging reading for pleasure, and helping to tackle the number of children leaving primary school unable to read well.

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success, more than family circumstances, parents’ educational background or income.” – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 2021. Currently, more than 1 in 4 children are leaving primary school in the UK unable to read well.
Emily Jack, Chief Executive Officer at Bookmark Reading Charity said; “It’s been a delight to visit Southwood Primary School today and share the joy of reading with these new books and resources, as well as the power of storytelling with their very own assembly with author Laura Mucha.
“Bookmark Reading Charity’s ‘Your Story Corner’ allows us to focus our support in different regions. We are thrilled to be delivering packs to fifty primary schools across Barking & Dagenham. We hope that this, along with more volunteers who can support us by delivering reading sessions, can help give all children in the area the opportunity to discover the joy of reading.”

Children’s poet and author Laura Mucha said: “It’s always a privilege to deliver an interactive session with children to celebrate and engage them in creating poetry. At Southwood Primary, we’ve been delving behind the scenes re how books are made and co-writing a poem together. I hope their new books and their work with Bookmark Reading Charity helps to build excitement about reading and their own creative writing.”
Mayor Donna Lumson also attended the launch and said: “It’s a pleasure to visit Southwood Primary School today to see the arrival of one of fifty ‘Your Story Corner’ packs being delivered across Barking & Dagenham from Bookmark Reading Charity. I hope that we see more volunteers join the charity to deliver reading sessions with children in our area and help all children discover the joy of reading.”
These schools in Barking & Dagenham will also have the opportunity to take part in Bookmark’s volunteer-led reading programme and the charity are looking for more reading volunteers to help children in the area to discover the joy of reading. You can find out more and sign up here.
Bookmark volunteers take part in two 30-minute sessions each week across six weeks with a child aged between 5-10 years-old, reading stories and playing games on our secure online platform. We exist to change children’s life stories through the joy of reading.

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