From today, five primary schools in Middlesbrough will receive a brand new Instant Library from KPMG, the National Literacy Trust and Middlesbrough Reads. The initiative supports children whose literacy and learning has been profoundly affected by COVID-19 and builds on an earlier Instant Library donation from KPMG in spring to support schools that remained open for vulnerable children and children of keyworkers.
Local schools including Abingdon Primary School and Newport Primary School will receive 30 brand new books published by Penguin Random House as well as engaging and entertaining reading and writing activities that can be used in the classroom and at home. Schools will also receive National Literacy Trust membership for one year, giving teachers access to hundreds of inspiring resources, school improvement tools and online training.
The initiative is supported by bestselling and award-winning children's authors and illustrators Sam Copeland, Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola. In addition to receiving an Instant Library containing Sam Copeland's hilarious Charlie Changes into a Chicken (Puffin) and Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola's joyous Look Up! (Puffin), some schools may receive school visits from the trio later this academic year, when social distancing measures allow them to do so.
What's more, a series of storytelling videos featuring Copeland, Bryon and Adeola that were created for Puffin Storytime this summer are also available for schools in to access for free to help inspire pupils' love of reading all year round.
Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that school libraries nurture a love of reading that can enrich children's literacy skills, academic achievements and mental wellbeing. However almost half (44%) of schools serving the most disadvantaged communities in the UK do not have one. This initiative hopes to bring comfort and inspiration to children in Middlesbrough through the power of stories.
Rachel Hopcroft, Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said: "We are delighted to be launching the second phase of our Reading the Future campaign this week, in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust. Helping improve literacy levels across the UK has long been at the heart of our Corporate Responsibility agenda, and now, during this time of crisis, it is more important than ever that we work together to address the widening disadvantage gap.
"Business can have an enormous impact, especially when working alongside fantastic charities such as the National Literacy Trust; whether that's through leveraging networks, offering resources, volunteering time or expertise. I'm delighted KPMG volunteers will be supporting Reading the Future schools through virtual storytelling, to bring this fantastic collection of books to life and develop essential literacy skills."
Allison Potter, Manager for Middlesbrough Reads, said
"Local children are still adjusting to the school routine after a significant disruption to their education. KPMG's Instant Libraries will help bring the magic of stories to life for children who need them most, and the Sam Copeland books in particular will be a welcome addition to school libraries as he visited Middlesbrough back in March for a World Book Day event in the Town Hall. The children were very taken with Sam's fascinating animal facts!"
The initiative is part of KPMG's Reading the Future campaign which celebrates the firm's 150th anniversary and marks its longstanding commitment to transforming disadvantaged communities through literacy, education and skills. In total, KPMG will donate Instant Libraries to 150 primary schools, gifting 4,5000 brand new books and helping 22,500 children discover a love of reading