17:13 h / 2021/05/05
Tonies has gifted a number of Toniebox storytelling audio devices to the Life-changing Libraries project, launched by the Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell MBE, the author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series.
Life-changing Libraries is set to showcase the transformative impact that a well-resourced primary school library has on a child’s opportunities in life, alongside the vast inequality currently facing children across England.
The project was announced in April, alongside the publication of an open letter from Cowell to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling for the Government to help reverse the inequality in education by putting primary school libraries at the heart of the country’s long-term response to the pandemic.
It calls for a ring fenced, yearly investment of £100m into the nation’s libraries.
Following this, six primary schools across England over the course of the year – all of which have at least 25 per cent of pupils eligible for free school meals – will be helped to develop a reading for pleasure culture, with the support of BookTrust.
The project will spotlight the four pillars of a successful ‘gold standard’ school library: space, book provision, expertise, and whole-school and parent involvement.
Each school will have a dedicated library space created by BookTrust and the sponsors of the campaign, and this will be stocked with Tonieboxes and 1000 titles, selected by BookTrust’s expert book selection team with guidance from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), and donated by publishers.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, reading for pleasure is a bigger indicator of a child’s educational success than their parent’s socio-economic status. Meanwhile, audio is proven to support literacy in early years by helping to foster a love of stories in the most reluctant of readers.
The Tonieboxes will allow children in the six schools taking part in ‘Life-changing Libraries’ to enjoy some of the nation’s favourite stories in audio, such as Elmer and Peter Rabbit.