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Huge celebrations as thousands of fabulous children’s books donated

By - 07 December 2023 - 09:51am

Huge celebrations as thousands of fabulous children’s books donated

Derby Book Festival has received more than 2,500 donated books to be distributed to Derby schools, nurseries and child minders following an Autumn Appeal for pre-loved, gently used children’s books.

The Autumn Appeal was supported by Festival partners: University of Derby, Marketing Derby, QUAD and Derbion who set up collection points across the city.

The Appeal aims to spread a love of books and encourage a new generation of Derby readers. Donated books are given to schools to support them in their literacy programmes and to pass onto children who have no books at home. Recent research from the National Literacy Trust reported that children who have a books of their own at home engage more with reading and are six times more likely to read above the level expected for their age groups.*

The donated books are now sorted and are making their way to 14 Derby primary schools, 10 nurseries, 4 local child minders and Derby libraries.

Derby Book Festival Chair Liz Fothergill CBE said:

“We’ve simply been overwhelmed with the generosity of the people, businesses and organisations in and around Derby. As the donated books rolled in, our office was filled to the brim with bright wonderful books suitable for very young children through to fabulous fiction and non-fiction books aimed at primary school pupils.

Liz continued: “Having more than 2,500 books given during the Appeal means that as well as donating much-needed books to local schools, we have also been able to donate to local nurseries and childminders. Children are never too young to discover the magic of books and the success of this Appeal means we can help more children engage with books from a very early age.”

The University of Derby is one of Derby Book Festival’s key sponsors and hosted several drop-off points around the University’s campus. Dr Rhiannon Jones, Associate Professor Civic Practice at the University of Derby said “As a civic university we are committed to supporting local communities and this is underlined by the fact that Derby is now a UNESCO city of lifelong learning. This project with Derby Book Festival exemplified the deep-rooted community spirit and joy of reading across Derby and the kindness from people in our communities to donate books and create lifelong learning opportunities for others.

“I’m very proud of Derby Book Festival, our students, staff and partners for making time to donate to this cause. It is a clear demonstration that as a city, we have a deep love for reading and supporting local communities. It showcases Derby in the civic space and highlights the importance of working with our communities and within our place to make a real impact.

“It’s also another indicator of the commitment and dedication that exists here in Derby to learning and to delivering educational opportunities for all – through the joy of reading. I’m so pleased we were able to come together with partners in our city to support this important initiative and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Derby Book Festival and partners in 2024.”


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