Supporting young readers

Without access to books, children may never have the chance to experience the joy and many benefits of reading. That is why we work to help children discover reading.

Peppa Pig
Enjoying reading in Bhutan

Many children around the world live in families where it’s a struggle to put food on the table, so buying books is simply not possible. Their school or local library is often the only place where they can discover books – but too many don’t have the up-to-date books, dedicated space or trained professionals to support children’s reading. 

Books for children 

In an average year, about two-thirds of the brand-new books we provide are for children. These books include picture books, phonics books, graded readers, fictionnon-fiction and children’s English as a Second Language texts. The diversity of the books we provide for young readers ensures that children have the books that will appeal to them at every age.  

Creating Children’s Corners 

As well as age-appropriate, brand new books, it’s vital that children have spaces where their reading can flourish. Since 2009 we have created over 150 Children’s Corners in public libraries across sub-Saharan Africa. These Children’s Corners are refurbished spaces that become dedicated child-focused, welcoming spaces in libraries where children can discover the magic of reading. Each is staffed by a professional librarian who is trained specifically in how to support young readers and they include both UK donated and locally published books.  

Read more about our Children’s Corners.


Discovery Book Boxes  

Our Discovery Book Boxes offer children who do not have access to a school or public library the chance to read whatever their circumstances. The boxes can be used in classrooms, refugee camps, community centres and any other location where children need access to books.

Children greet their new Pioneer Book Box with excitement in Kenya
Children greet their new Discovery Book Box with excitement in Kenya

Each sturdy lockable box comes equipped with around 200 brand new, carefully selected books selected to support learning and reading for pleasure as well as a manual to help staff, volunteers and teachers make use of their new books.  

Find out more about Discovery Book Boxes.

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