Project information

National Young Readers' Programme

The National Young Readers' Programme (NYRP) involves children, schools and families in inspirational reading events which link enjoyment and reading for disadvantaged children. As part of each project, children choose free books to keep, often the first books participating children will own.

NYRP is ongoing. Most settings hold three events throughout the year.

Charity information

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust logo
  • Need


    One in six people in the UK struggles with their literacy. People with poor literacy skills are more likely to be workless, living in inadequate housing and dissatisfied with their life. Key Stage 2 results highlight that more than 20% of 11 year olds fail to reach basic standards in reading and writing and almost 50,000 pupils in England have no useful literacy. Many young students lack enthusiasm towards reading and have had little exposure to books or support for their literacy at home.


    The OECD ‘Reading for Change’ study found that reading for pleasure was the most important indicator of the future success of a child. The same study found that enjoyment of reading has a greater impact on a child’s educational achievement than their parents’ socio-economic status.

    NYRP motivates children and young people to read for pleasure by giving them the opportunity to choose three free books to keep at three inspirational events.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Work with 12,000 children and young people this year to encourage them to read for pleasure.


    » Work with schools and libraries in disadvantaged areas of the country to promote reading for pleasure.
    » Run projects for families, young carers and the children of prisoners.

    Success will be...securing funding and establishing projects to reach 12,000 children and young people.

    Aim 2

    The young people have a more positive attitude towards reading and are more motivated to read.


    » Teachers trained to understand why enjoyment is important in reading.
    » The three events are fun and motivational, encouraging children to associate fun with reading.

    Success will be...95% of the participating children and young people with a low-level in reading being more motivated to read, and having a more positive attitude.

    Aim 3

    The young people participating are better able to choose interesting books of their ability.


    » Provide three events to give children three chances to practise skills around choosing books.
    » Coordinators trained how to run projects that teach children skills to choose books they can and want to read.
    » Use child and project coordinator surveys to assess improvements in ability to choose books.

    Success will be...95% of the participating children and young people with a low-level/interest in reading better able to choose an appropriate book.

  • Impact


    By helping participating children change their reading behaviours, NYRP increases their chances of reaching their potential in education and finding employment. NYRP also links with local library services, encouraging pupils to continue using their new skills at their local library. This also leaves a legacy of partnership between school and library.

    The National Literacy Trust is currently developing a large scale survey to measure behaviour and attitudes towards reading.


    The projects are all run by local project coordinators, so that the projects are designed with maximum benefit for the participants. This means we have less control over the projects, but we do monitor them closely, and ensure the book budgets are spent on fun books or the children and young people, which will encourage them to pick up a book.


    All donors will receive our supporters' newsletter with information about the work of the National Literacy Trust, including regular updates on the National Young Readers' Programme. We will also confirm to donors what area their money is being spent in.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £320,052

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      Amount Heading Description
      £129,600 Books Three books per child or young person to keep
      £54,000 Transport to libraries To ensure all children are able to visit a library during the NYRP programme
      £83,520 Staff time Training, support, evaluation, administration
      £52,932 Other programme costs Programme materials (eg book bags and plates), programme management

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Starbucks £90,000 Guaranteed
    Slaughter and May £10,000 Guaranteed
    John Laing Charitable Trust £20,000 Guaranteed
    Benoy Foundation £10,000 Guaranteed
    Walcot Foundation £14,887 Guaranteed
    The Christina Mary Hendrie Fund for Scottish and Canadian Charities £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    National Young Readers' Programme takes place in a variety of settings throughout the UK, targeted in areas of significant social and economic disadvantage. When working with schools, either directly or through libraries, we measure disadvantage by the percentage of free school meals provided (a standard measure of children from low-income families), numbers of pupils with English as an additional language, and transience of pupils.


    Children and young people living in disadvantage. They will be motivated to read for pleasure, which will help them reach their potential and break the cycle of disadvantage.

    Teachers and librarians will benefit from professional development through training on the importance of reading for pleasure and ways to support children and young people in reading, for example new children's authors and books that are good for hard-to-reach children.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The National Literacy Trust has 17 years of experience of working with literacy professionals, families, schools, and local communities. Based on extensive research and studies, we have a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the UK's literacy, causes of low literacy levels, and key areas for targeting literacy problems.

    NYRP has a record of success: after taking part in 2010, 80% of pupils had a more positive attitude towards reading and 99% were better able to choose books.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Caroline Pythian-Sence (Programme Manager)

    Caroline works to develop NYRP through research and evaluation. She also works on funding proposals and represents NYRP's work to outside partners.