Pupils at Peter Hills Primary School in Rotherhithe celebrated in November receiving the 100,000th book given out through British Land’s Young Readers Programme partnership with the National Literacy Trust. This exciting programme encourages children to read for enjoyment and develop their literacy skills, which research shows can have a lifelong impact on health, confidence, employability and happiness. Around 250 children local to the Masterplan participate in the programme every year, with Rotherhithe Primary and Peter Hills Primary both taking part this school year.
With one in four children leaving primary school unable to read properly, encouraging reading for pleasure is an important part of closing the nation’s literacy gap and boosting social mobility. Every child taking part in the programme is guided in how to choose books that will interest them, before selecting three new books throughout the year to take home for free. For many participants these are the first books they have ever owned, helping them nurture a love of reading.
Fun, educational events at school and in British Land shopping centres, including Surrey Quays, are a powerful component of the programme, giving children the chance to listen to wonderful storytellers and enjoy literacy-themed activities in local bookshops, retail stores, cafés and restaurants – taking reading out of the classroom and linking it to free time and leisure.
The National Literacy Trust and British Land’s award-winning Young Readers Programme partnership has benefited over 1,500 local pupils since 2012, along with their teachers who receive training and resources to inspire future pupils. Across the country the programme has benefited over 34,000 children at more than 30 locations since it began in 2011. British Land has been the Young Readers Programme’s largest supporter for several years, creating a lasting positive legacy in communities around its shopping centres and London office campuses.
For more information on the National Literacy Trust’s wider Young Readers Programme, please click here.