Residents of Manchester are being urged to do their bit to help improve children’s literacy across Greater Manchester.

A campaign called ‘Gift Of Books’ is aiming to get the printed word into the hands of children who have never owned a book – and donations are open in Manchester NOW.

People can simply drop off their favourite childhood book at Summerville Primary School in Salford and it will be given to a child who needs it.

The campaign was launched following research from The National Literacy Trust earlier this year that revealed 40,000 schoolchildren throughout Greater Manchester aren’t fortunate to own a single book of their own.

12 collection points are currently accepting donations across the region, allowing local book lovers to share their love of the printed word.

The donated books will then be redistributed to children across the region who attend schools identified by the National Literacy Trust as being in deprived areas where low levels of literacy are seriously impacting on people’s lives.

Books have already started to be redistributed to the children at these schools across Greater Manchester, including Crossacers Primary School, Barlow Hall Primary School and Gorse Hill Primary School.

The initiative is a joint partnership between Stockport business and the National Literacy Trust.

To take part, visit to find your nearest collection point, and simply drop your gift off, with a printed note explaining why you enjoyed it so much.

Schools, local groups and community centres in Manchester can also register as a collection point by filling in the sign-up form.

Ian Cowley, managing director of campaign organisers, explains: “We are looking to change the future of school children in Greater Manchester one book at a time by calling on the surrounding areas of the city to help us donate as many books as possible.

“It is simply wrong that in 2018 so many children have don’t own a single book, a clear sign of imbalance in our society. This spring we hope that the simple act of sharing the book that made a difference to your childhood, will make a critical difference in the lives of the most disadvantaged.”

How donating a book will make a difference: five key facts

1.     One in eight of the most disadvantaged children in Greater Manchester say they don’t have a book of their own at home. 

2.     In England the median hourly wage of workers with the highest levels of literacy is 94 per cent higher than for workers who have the lowest levels of literacy. 

3.     Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parents’ level of education and is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background. 

4.     Low levels of literacy cost the UK an estimated £81 billion a year in lost earnings and increased welfare spending impacting on the economy as a whole.’

5.     Literacy has been found to have a relationship with depression. 36 per cent of those with low literacy were found to have depressive symptoms, compared to 20 per cent of those with the highest levels of literacy.

Director of the National Literacy Trust Jonathan Douglas says: “The “Gift of Books” campaign is an absolutely brilliant way to encourage children in Greater Manchester to fall in love with reading. It will really help to ensure the next generation are better equipped to tackle education, work and life.”


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