Old Fletton Primary, St Michael's C of E Primary, Paston Ridings Primary and Queen's Drive Infant School are receiving 30 brand new books published by Penguin Random House, as well as a number of reading and writing activities that can be used in the classroom and at home. These schools also receive membership of the National Literacy Trust for one year, giving teachers access to hundreds of resources and online training exercises.
These four schools join a number of others that received a donation from KPMG in spring to support schools that remained open for vulnerable children and children of keyworkers. The partnership between Peterborough City Council, the NLT and Peterborough Reads, and accountancy firm KPMG is to support children whose literacy and learning has been profoundly affected by Covid-19.
The initiative is supported by bestselling children’s authors and illustrators Sam Copeland, Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola. The Instant Libraries will contain copies of Sam Copeland's book Charlie Changes into a Chicken (Puffin) and Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola's joyous Look Up! (Puffin), and the trio are hoping to begin school visits again later in the academic year, when social distancing measures allow them to do so.
Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that school libraries nurture a love of reading that can enrich children's literacy skills, academic achievements and mental wellbeing. However, around 44% of schools serving the most disadvantaged communities in the UK do not have a library to offer. This initiative hopes to bring comfort and inspiration to children in Peterborough through the power of stories.
Rachel Hopcroft, head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG, said: "We are delighted to be launching the second phase of our Reading the Future campaign this week, in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust. Helping improve literacy levels across the UK has long been at the heart of our Corporate Responsibility agenda, and now, during this time of crisis, it is more important than ever that we work together to address the widening disadvantage gap.
"Business can have an enormous impact, especially when working alongside fantastic charities such as the National Literacy Trust; whether that’s through leveraging networks, offering resources, volunteering time or expertise. I’m delighted KPMG volunteers will be supporting Reading the Future schools through virtual storytelling, to bring this fantastic collection of books to life and develop essential literacy skills."
Sally Atkinson, Manager for Peterborough Reads, said: "Last year, more than half (52%) of Peterborough’s 11-year-olds on free school meals left school unable to read well. KMPG's Instant Libraries will open doors for pupils to develop a love of reading. Access to books can be transformative for a child’s future prospects, benefiting attainment and wellbeing, not to mention the fictional worlds they’ll be able to explore."
The initiative is part of KPMG's 'Reading the Future' campaign, which celebrates the accountancy firm's 150th anniversary by marking its commitment to transforming disadvantaged communities through education and literacy. In total, KPMG plans to donate Instant Libraries to 150 primary schools.