Pupils at Whitefield County Primary celebrated World Book Day with 10 new books for their school library that were donated by the Morrisons Foundation in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

Rochelle Gardner, Community Champion at Whitefield Morrisons, presented the books to the school, saying: “I’m so proud to be helping kids in our community through the donation of these wonderful books.

“The challenges of the past couple of years really have been difficult for us all, but particularly younger children who not only missed out on school, but also just having time with their friends and teachers.

“I hope these stories will give children at Whitefield County Primary some fun as well as help them find a love of reading.”

More than 5,000 books are being donated to school libraries in communities throughout England, Scotland and Wales as part of the partnership between the two charities to help nurture a love of reading for over 130,000 primary school children who will directly benefit from this project.

In 2019, 27 percent of 11-year-olds in England left primary school not reading at the expected level, rising to 42 percent for disadvantaged children.

Although efforts were made to narrow this attainment gap, the disruption to education caused by Covid-19 may reverse the progress made in the last decade.

By working in partnership to donate books to communities across the country, the National Literacy Trust and Morrisons Foundation aim to support children’s literacy recovery by investing in their school libraries post-pandemic.

David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee, said: “We’re delighted to be teaming up with the National Literacy Trust again to provide books to hundreds of schools across our local communities. We hope these books will provide enjoyment to children and help to boost their reading and literacy skills.”

Jonathan Douglas, chief executive of the National Literacy Trust added: “World Book Day is a great reminder of how important children’s literacy is in developing their skills for the future.

“Our research suggests that around 400,000 children don’t have a book of their own, so we’re delighted that Morrisons Foundation have chosen our charity again and will be donating books to hundreds of school libraries, providing fun and enjoyment to children.”