Manchester Central Library Development Trust have teamed up with Read Manchester to make a difference to children and young people in Manchester this Christmas.
The ‘Give the Gift of Reading this Christmas’ campaign was launched last year and aims to gift books and other educational resources to children in Manchester from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Last year Manchester Libraries and Read Manchester raised £4,000 to buy new books for children and young people in Manchester as part of their Book Gifting Campaign.
This year the campaign hopes to raise more money so they can continue their work to help children and young people discover the joy of reading.
The team have a target of £5,000 this year. All the money raised will be given to Read Manchester to buy books for children.
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, 75,000 books have been gifted.
Despite libraries and schools being fully open again, the impact of COVID on children’s learning means that access to books at home has never been more important.
Research shows that, during the pandemic, children and young people who didn’t own books, or books they liked, read less frequently than before.
The educational attainment gap between those from lower socio-economic backgrounds compared to those from higher-income backgrounds has widened following the disruption to learning during the pandemic.
Younger children, children who are eligible for free school meals and areas with higher levels of deprivation in urban areas in the north all show the greatest decline.
Manchester city council work with 100 local organisations including foodbanks, community groups, SureStart Centres, refugees and youth groups, working together to ensure that they are reaching the children and families where free books can really make a difference.
Read Manchester also work with local community groups and schools to help children discover new books and other educational resources, develop reading skills and have the pleasure of owning their own books.
“Children in the north have been adversely affected by the pandemic and owning books of their own has so many positive benefits,” said Councillor Rabanawaz Akbar.
“From ‘together’ time with parents or carers to developing language and communication skills, reading is an essential part of childhood.
“Getting children reading is a great initiative that allows children to experience the joy of reading and allows them to immerse themselves into the world of books.
“I am delighted that such a positive campaign is being held and encourage everyone to donate what they can to help engage children in reading.”
To donate to this appeal and help struggling children and families, visit: justgiving.com/campaign/mancbookgift.