A Guide to Reading

Encourage all children to read

Our aim is to encourage all children to read from an early age; to fall in love with the characters they follow and the worlds they imagine. This page provides a useful resource for organisations that do just that, so please take a look around.

World Book Day

World Book Day is a nationwide celebration of authors, illustrators, books and {most importantly} reading. It’s the biggest celebration of its kind, where children come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily!

Our main aim is to encourage children of all ages, from toddler to teen, to explore the pleasures of books and reading through having a book of their own. We distribute 12.5 million book tokens through schools {one for nearly every child in the country), to make this happen.

Whilst celebrated on the first Thursday of March each year, World Book Day is a year-long campaign which encourages teachers, parents and carers to foster a culture of reading for pleasure both at home and at school. It’s all about getting kids closer to the books and authors they love, and letting them discover more books and authors they’ll love every bit as much in the future.

Get involved at our website( www.worldbookday.com), which is updated throughout the year, and is full of fun reading ideas, activities, games and resources, based on favourite books and authors, as well as reading recommendations and advice.

Quick Reads

Quick Reads was founded by Dame Gail Rebuck on World Book Day 2006, as an initiative to support adult literacy. Our mission is to bring pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone, but today, one in six adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. For many adult emergent readers, a Quick Read title may be a first ‘proper’ book they have read and Quick Reads are read by a wide range of readers and, increasingly, busy people who may have lost the habit of reading for pleasure.

To help them get into reading, we commission, publish and distribute short books by major authors. Since 2006, 123 Quick Reads titles have been published and 4.5 million copies distributed.

As well as making Quick Reads titles available through libraries and retail channels, our main focus is to get Quick Reads books and resources into the hands of those who need them most. We undertake a year-long programme of outreach work in partnership with other organisations and charities, including the National Institute of Adult continuing Education (NIACE), The Reading Agency, National Literacy Trust, World Book Night, Unionlearn, English PEN and the British Council.

World Book Night

World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading and books celebrated on April 23 and run by The Reading Agency.

Our campaign sees passionate volunteers give away hundreds of thousands of books in their communities, to share their love of reading with people who, for whatever reason, don’t read for pleasure or own books.

We work with our givers, our partners and other charities to encourage a love of reading through hundreds of events to celebrate World Book Night nationwide, from small community gatherings to author readings in flagship libraries.

World Book Nights is about giving books and encouraging those who have lost their love of reading – or are yet to gain it – to pick up a book and read. Reading opens up opportunities for education, employment and culture and frees your imagination. In short, it has the power to change your life.

Coram Beanstalk

Coram Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work with children in primary schools who have fallen behind with their reading. Our vision is a nation of confident children who can read and grow up to lead successful lives.

Beanstalk reading helpers work with children on a one-to-one basis, giving them consistent support to improve reading levels, increase overall confidence and help them gain the vital literacy skills they need to succeed in education, training and employment

Each Beanstalk reading helper works with three children, who they see twice a week during term-time, for a whole year. Together, they read, play and talk. With Beanstalk’s support, the child’s approach to learning and enjoying reading is often transformed.

We currently work in areas of deprivation in the North of England, Midlands, Greater London and Kent. We have over 80 staff and more than 2,300 volunteers, who support over 7,000 children a year, but there is still much more we can do. Our aim is to reach out to 18,000 children annually across the UK by 2017


Booktrust expands children’s chances in life by developing their loves of reading through bookgifting and family activities. Reading together builds family bonds and gives children a better start – and children and young people who read for pleasure do better at school and beyond.

We give free books to 2.5 million children and families, supported by advice and fun things to do for parents and agencies. Councils, health visitors, children’s centres, libraries, schools, publishers and other charities help us make this happen.

We believe everyone should get the chance to develop a love of reading. So we gift books to every baby under 12 months and child ages 3-4 (Bookstart) and to all 4-5s (Booktime). We stimulate reading through our Read for My School competition and Children’s Book Week.

We also do more for those who need more. Letterbox Club gives children in care extra books and opportunities, and we tailor books for those who are deaf, blind/partially-sighted or whose first language isn’t English. For disadvantaged children, there’s Bookstart Corner (18-36 months) and the Children’s Reading Fund (4-11s).

To keep standards high, we run respected literary prizes. Our annual Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle celebrate children’s books.

Learning and Work Institute

We are an independent policy, research and development organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. We research what works, influence policy, develop new ways of thinking, and help implement new approaches.

Working with partners, we inspire people to learn and help transform people’s experiences of learning and employment. What we do benefits individuals, families, communities and the wider economy.

We want everyone to have an opportunity to realise their ambitions and potential in learning, work and throughout life. We believe a better-skilled workforce, in better-paid jobs, is good for business, good for the economy, and good for society.

Save the Children

Born to Read is a partnership between Save the Children and Beanstalk, giving children in the UK the reading skills they need for a better future.

Literacy is key to a child’s future and learning to read unlocks a world of opportunity. It underpins a child’s chances of achieving at school and, beyond that, of finding work. But far too many boys and girls in the UK fall badly behind in literacy in their first few years at school. Most of these children never catch up, leaving school without basic reading skills or good qualifications.

Over the next months and year, Born to Read will provide 7,000 more reading helpers for 23,000 pupils in schools in deprived areas across the country, to support their literacy.

The Reading Agency

he Reading Agency’s mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers through a range of programmes, promotions and author interactions. Because everything changes when we read. We champion reading for pleasure through our strong partnership with libraries, publishers, charities and other institutions.

For Children & Young People

• The Summer Reading Challenge tackles the ‘dip’ in reading during the summer holidays by encouraging children aged 4 to 11 to visit their local library, read six books and collect points & rewards. Over 800,000 children now take part.

• Chatterbooks Reading Groups – children widen their reading horizons and build literacy skills by being inspired to talk about books.

• Reading Activists helps 11 to 19-year-olds build their skills and enthusiasm for reading through new forms of engagement and community volunteering.

• The Six Book Challenge helps less confident readers develop a new reading habit while improving their confidence, literacy skills, employability and quality of life.

• Reading Groups for Everyone encourages and inspires people to talk about books and set up their own reading groups.

• Reading Well promotes health and well-being through the national English Books on Prescriptions scheme of quality-assured self help books and peer-recommended Mood-Boosting Books.

National Literacy Agency

The National Literacy Trust is a national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. We work to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s most deprived communities, where up to 40% of people have literacy problems. Our research and analysis makes us the leading authority on literacy and drive our interventions. We campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and families, young people and children.

We support schools via the National Literacy Trust Network, where education professional share knowledge and experiences in literacy teaching, and provide innovative teaching conference and resource. We work with local authorities to build literacy hubs in the poorest communities that join up local businesses, voluntary organisations, schools and the media to raise literacy levels.

Early Words Together targets early language interventions to the families who most need them and our Young Readers Programme allows disadvantaged children to choose books to keep. Premiere League Reading Stars harnesses the motivational power of football to inspire young boys to enjoy reading and Words for Life gives parents the tools to support their children’s literacy development.

Books about Town, our exciting public art project in London in summer 2014 celebrates, reading for pleasure with book-shaped benches throughout the city, walking trails and fun family events.