Hundreds of donated books to reach the hands of disadvantaged children across London as part of project to address ‘book gap’ 23 January 2019 Hundreds of children’s books donated by national reading charity, Beanstalk, are being given to children across London this month as part of an initiative run by the London Children’s Book Project which works with settings across the capital to redistribute thousands of new and gently used books to children and their families. The books have been organised and categorised by the London Children’s Book Project and include a variety of fiction and non-fiction books that have been well-loved by Beanstalk volunteers and the children they support. The books are now being made available to children who have very few books of their own through partnerships with primary schools, nursery schools, children’s centres, prisons, food banks and anyone who works with children. Books are gifted to children for them to take home and keep. The London Children’s Book Project was set up by Liberty Venn on a voluntary basis following successful book collections on behalf of her local primary school. Liberty Venn, Founder of the London Children's Book Project “One in four children across London has fewer than ten books of their own at home and poverty is by no means the only reason for a lack of books in many homes. Lack of time, negative experiences as a child or lack of parental confidence about their own reading skills can all undermine a family’s propensity to own books. ‘At the London Children’s Book Project we sort the books by age and topic before they are packed for distribution by one of our partner organisations. Where possible books are given to settings that reflect targeted children’s interests and reading needs. For example, baby books for mother and baby groups, books for young readers, book for boys or books for teens. Receiving donations of books for all ages and interests helps us to match these with a child.” Ginny Lunn, CEO at Beanstalk: “Books are at the heart of what we do delivering vital reading programmes to children who struggle with reading and we have been so lucky to have acquired so many brilliant and enjoyable book resources over the years for our volunteers to take into schools and share with the children they support. We know that having books at home as well is hugely important but many families, for a variety of reasons, have very few books to call their own. We recently relocated our offices which prompted us to have a good sort through everything we had in our book boxes with the purpose of getting some permanently into the hands of children. Teaming up with the London Children’s Book Project means we know they will go directly to children who will treasure and enjoy them. It’s a great project to be able to support and Liberty has already told us that some of our own Beanstalk partner schools in London have been among the first to benefit from the books, so there is clearly great potential for our organisations to work closely together to ensure these books get to where they are most needed.” To make a book donation, large or small, to the London Children’s Book Project, please email [email protected] to arrange book collection or to arrange drop off at one of their collection points. Alternatively call Liberty on 07968 064118. Anyone wishing to coordinate a book drive school or nursery can also get in touch to receive posters and promotional materials. If you would like to enquire about becoming a reading helper with Beanstalk and helping transform lives through the magic of sharing books together, please fill out an online application form.