We have a strong commitment to charities and initiatives which promote literacy and the love of reading.
Here are a few highlights of our literacy initiatives:
- We support World Book Day, which was co-launched in 1998 by our CEO Gail Rebuck to promote books and the love of reading to UK schoolchildren. The event took the concept and traditions of St. George's Day in Catalonia, when roses and books were given to loved ones, and used them to address the growing crisis in children’s literacy in the UK. Instead of giving roses, a £1 book voucher was handed to every child in the UK in what was the first World Book Day. The World Book Day charity is now firmly established and celebrated in 100 countries around the world as the biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading.
- We are also founding publishers in the Quick Reads initiative, an annual series of entertaining, fast-paced books written in a pared-down style by bestselling authors with the aim of reaching out to adults in the UK with reading difficulties and to those who rarely or never pick up a book. The Quick Reads steering committee is chaired by our CEO Gail Rebuck. Since 2006 over a million Quick Reads titles have been distributed and another 1 million have been loaned by libraries. In a recent survey 90% of adults using Quick Reads said that improving their reading had made them feel better about themselves.
- In 2006 we launched a volunteer reading scheme with Volunteer Reading Help and primary schools across London, giving staff time off and the appropriate training to develop the literacy skills of children who either lack confidence or don’t have access to reading opportunities at home.
- We sponsor a number of literacy initiatives, literary prizes and festivals and support the Book Trust and BTBS, the Book Trade Benevolent Society.