The Impact of Owning a Book

Book ownership makes a difference

Reading widely and often across a range of text types and genres gives children the tools and vocabulary they need to fully access the whole curriculum as they move through their education. The key to success, though, is that a child can take pleasure in their reading.

Reading for pleasure is a more significant indicator of achievement than the socio-economic background. However, children need easy access to a range of books to develop this habit of choosing to read for enjoyment.

Those children who have books at home are more likely to enjoy reading and have higher reading skills than those who do not. Yet, according to recent research by the National Literacy Trust, disadvantaged children are less likely than their peers to own books.

Putting books into the hands and homes of local children

As a supplier of resources to schools in the eastern region, we maintain an extensive collection of books. As any librarian will tell you, collection management and planning are a crucial part of what we do. Whatever the size of your library, removing stock over your requirements is the only way to maintain a collection that meets your customers’ current needs. It is a complicated business made all the harder by that emotional pull that books have.

We have always disposed of books responsibly by donating to charities or recycling. We, however, felt strongly that the most significant impact would be made by getting them directly into the hands and homes of local children who may not otherwise have a book to call their own.

To this end, we passed approximately 500 books to Chadwell St Mary’s Primary School! Mostly fiction or poetry, all were age-appropriate for primary age children and all in good (though not new) condition.

Book bundles and daily poetry

The school decided to identify those children most in need and who did not have access to books at home. Seventy-three children received a bespoke book bundle containing four to six books that matched their interests and reading ability. The poetry books are used in a new project – The Daily “P”! A daily poem for pleasure, play, and progress to ensure impact across the school. Teachers and children from each class select a daily poem. The teacher reads the chosen poem aloud, modelling fluency, expression, tone, intonation, and volume. New words, the poet, and themes are discussed. Finally, the class votes to see if the children enjoyed listening to the poem with class poetry monitors responsible for recording the vote outcome.

Community book gifting

To be considered for future community book gifting, please register your interest by contacting the Education Resources Service. You should be able to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Have a high proportion of children on Pupil Premium.
  • Be located in Essex, Southend or Thurrock and able to collect the books from our facility in Witham, Essex.
  • Be able to demonstrate that the books will be given to children for them to keep at home. These books are not donated to boost school library or book corner collections.
  • Commit to providing us with a short case study showing the impact the collection has made to children’s reading, education achievement and wellbeing.

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