With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to do something a little different this year. I’ve been meaning to start a book club with friends for a while, but when I recently learned some troubling statistics about literacy – I thought this was the perfect time of year to give back in a new way. I recently became involved with the National Literacy Trust, which works with disadvantaged children in the UK to develop better access to books and literacy skills, which in turn leads to better opportunities. We may not think of literacy as that big of an issue in 2018, but the statistics would surprise you. They’ve done much research on this topic, and I was shocked to learn what a big impact book ownership has on children from a young age.
Did you know that 1 in 11 children, and 1 in 8 disadvantaged children do not own a book at home in the UK? The reason why this figure is so troublesome is that book ownership, literacy skills, and an enjoyment of reading are linked to higher mental wellbeing and better performance in school among children. It’s so magical and important for children to have the opportunity to escape into the adventures and worlds books create, and every child should have the chance to experience that joy. I know from personal experience that a love of reading follows you throughout your life – it led me to study literature in university, and ultimately into starting my blog and writing my book. It opens up so many doorways in your life! This holiday season, I want to encourage my readers to start book clubs of their own with the purpose of raising money for literacy.
Here’s how it will work: start a book club with a group of your friends. Every time you meet, have each member donate whatever they can to your group fund. You can even ask friends and family to donate as well! By the time you finish each book, donate the money raised to the National Literacy Trust(they also have their own fun competition taking place this month, so check out their website for more details!). Or, if you’re based in the US – find your local alternatives here.
Here are some classic children’s books to gift to the little ones in your life this Christmas…
And some great books to inspire your own book club!