Project information

Give the Gift of Reading this Christmas

The Gift of Reading 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, which are often the first books these children will own.

1 year

Charity information

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust logo
  • Need


    In deprived areas of the UK 40% of adults do not have the literacy skills expected of an 11-year old whilst 1 child in 7 in the UK does not have a book of their own. Poor literacy reduces life chances, drives unemployment and is strongly linked to poverty. 1 in 3 deprived children leave primary school unable to read well enough to succeed at secondary school (DfE, 2015), whilst the gap between the best and worst 10-year old readers in England is equivalent to 7 years of schooling (ROGO, 2014).


    The Gift of Reading is designed to engender a love of reading in reluctant readers through engaging them in fun activities that enable them to develop a positive association with books and reading. The OECD ‘Reading for Change’ study found that reading for pleasure was the most important indicator of the future success of a child, having greater impact on a child’s educational achievement than their parents’ socio-economic status.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase reading for enjoyment


    » Children take part in themed motivational events designed to create a strong link between reading and fun.
    » Each event has a focus on reading, giving the children the opportunity to start reading their book.
    » The children have an opportunity to discuss their books and why reading for enjoyment is important at the end of each session.

    75% of children are more likely to read outside of school. teachers believe 80% of children are now more enthusiastic about reading.

    Aim 2

    Choice strategies for children


    » Teachers are trained to encourage children’s agency in book choice which research as shown greatly encourages reading for pleasure amongst children.

    80% of children are now choose to read new types of books.

    Aim 3

    Increase book ownership


    » Each child chooses 3 books to keep. These books are often the first they will own. Research demonstrates book ownership encourages reading.

    Each child taking part owns a minimum of 3 books (1,620 gifted in total).

    Aim 4

    Teachers are able to undertake activities to encourage reading for enjoyment.


    » The project manager trains 5 teachers per school in reading of enjoyment techniques.
    » Senior Management colleagues are also trained to encourage a reading culture across the school.
    » Resources and fun promotional items such as stickers / activity sheets are provided to enhance the activity sessions.

    90% of teachers intend to integrate learning from the programme into their own teaching practice.

    Aim 5

    Increased book choice in the school library.


    » We give a broad range of new books chosen by the children to the school library.
    » Schools receive membership to our network featuring gold standard teaching resources and 37% discount at Browns Books for the whole school.

    Each school receives 50 new books for the school library plus every school is provided with National Literacy Trust network membership.

  • Impact


    By helping children to change their reading behaviours, the programme engenders a lifelong love of books, increasing educational attainment, employment opportunities and life chances. Young people who enjoy reading very much are three times as likely to read above the level expected for their age (NLT, 2014) and children that read for pleasure make more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between age 10 and 16 than those who rarely read (IoE, 2013).

    The programme is evaluated annually.


    Recruitment of schools could be below expected levels however the programme is now well established and has reach across the UK. We also utilise a targeting metric to ensure the programme reaches those schools that need it most. Staff attraction is always a risk however we train more than one teacher in each school to ensure programme continuity.


    All donors will can be signed up to receive our supporters' newsletter with information about the work of the National Literacy Trust, including regular updates on the National Young Readers' Programme. Plus the programmes annual report is published on our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £28,510

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,600 Books Books for students and libraries
      £12,101 Programme management Includes school recruitment, teacher training, event support, network membership, project resources
      £4,521 Event costs Includes 3 events, story teller visit and one off site event
      £2,288 Organisational support Includes programme evaluation
  • Background


    The programme will be implemented in Swansea which faces significant challenges in relation to educational achievement and employment rates. One in six children in Swansea is living in severe poverty and the number of Free School Meals children is high at 20.8%. The gap in attainment between Free School Meal children and those not on Free School Meals is stark – only 27% achieve Level 2 at Key Stage 4 in English as opposed to 62% of those not on Free School Meals.


    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 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 programme underpinning the Gift of Reading will celebrate it's 20th anniversary this Autumn. Over the last 20 years we have reached over 360,000 children and given out over 1 million books, last year alone we gifted 20,000 books as part of the programme.

    We are an independent UK charity with more than 20 years of experience of working to increase the literacy levels of disadvantaged children in the UK. In the last 2 years we worked with 216,087 young people and reached 890,977 parents.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Clare Argar

    Clare is the Programme Manager for the project and manages the broader programme team.

    Fay Lant

    Is the Project Manager and trainer for the Gift of Reading programme.