Penguin Random House UK supports Read North East campaign to raise children's literacy levels in the North East

National Literacy Trust research has revealed that one in eight of the most disadvantaged children in the North East do not have a book of their own at home. Further research has found that 29,764 school children, aged 8-18, across the region do not own a book, with those who receive free school meals, boys of all ages and teenagers the most likely to say they have no books of their own at home.

Launched in October 2017, Read North East campaigns to raise the region’s literacy levels, which are among the lowest in the country, by encouraging parents to talk and read to their babies and children every day. 

At Penguin Random House UK, we are proud to support the campaign, which is led by the National Literacy Trust and also supported by the Education Endowment Foundation and Greggs PLC together with local schools, libraries and arts organisations.

As part of our ongoing support for Read North East, Penguin Random House UK has donated over 3,000 books to families since they launched. Donated by Penguin Random House Children’s, home to Puffin and Ladybird, books have been given away at intu Metrocentre, a shopping centre in Gateshead, the Riverside Stadium, home to Middlesbrough FC, and Stockton Sparkles Christmas lights switch on, along with activity sheets and family reading tips. In 2018, more books will be gifted to the children and families who need them the most, and Read North East will reach families all across the region, with events and initiatives taking place in different towns and cities over the next year.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said:

"Books have the power to transform children’s lives, which is why it is so alarming to discover that almost 30,000 children in the North East don’t have a single book to call their own. Getting books in to the hands of children and helping them discover a love of reading is at the very heart of our Read North East campaign. Working with our brilliant partners in the region, we are looking forward to gifting more children their first ever book and setting them on the path to a brighter future.” 

    

    

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