Why books are brilliant
Reading for pleasure is the biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, parents’ background or income. Yet 500,000 children in the UK do not own a single book and reading is at its lowest level since 2005. The charity World Book Day is urging more teachers, carers, and parents to encourage reading for pleasure following the annual World Book Day in March.
Ironically, reading attainment is the only area of the core curriculum that has risen, but the National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey shows that the number of children who say they enjoy it is in serious decline. The figure is even lower for boys and for children growing up in poverty. But with the cost-of-living squeeze, a growing number of families are facing barriers to reading for pleasure, with almost two thirds (64 per cent) of parents saying they currently have less money to spend on books for their children than before.
This year, World Book Day has focused on initiatives to encourage reading, including book swaps and other free activities in school and community groups. The charity distributed 50 million £1 book tokens through schools, nurseries, magazines and partnerships, to enable children to get a book of their own, for free.