Welcome to BookBuddy, the site that helps children to make friends with books. My name is Maz Evans and as a children’s author, I have the great privilege of visiting lots of schools all around the UK. The passion and enthusiasm of our educators and their students never fails to inspire me and I’m delighted to see how much love there is for reading in schools across the country.
But what I see worries me too. Schools’ budgets are under unprecedented pressure, meaning that many schools are struggling to afford basic teaching materials – including books. Many schools are having to rely on the generosity of their staff, or PTAs (if they are lucky enough to have one) to provide their children with reading books.
A Government report in 2012 stated: “Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002).”
We need the government to fully fund education, to make reading a priority. Without this, children who are deprived already will find themselves further hindered
Whilst the battle for this is being fought, we need to ensure that books are getting out there into the hands of children and that barriers to reading are removed.
The aim of this site is to help schools match up with interested donors to get books into their libraries. For some children, school is the only access they have to reading books and it is vital to keep new books coming in so that all children see books and reading as an activity that they can (and are allowed) to participate in.
Do you have children’s books lying around unread at home? Could you buy an extra book for a school every month? Do you want to find a good home for books your own children have grown out of? Are you a publishing professional with piles of books cluttering up your office? Or are you just a lovely person? Then you could be a BookBuddy!
If you have books you would like to donate (good quality please, and no uncorrected proofs or books that are not intended for sale) or would like to buy new books for a school then please use the map or directory to find a school who will be overjoyed to hear from you!
Schools should use the registration page to get their details onto the database so we can start linking them with donors. Anyone can register, but please bear in mind that this initiative is intended for those schools in real need who are struggling to afford books for their children. If you are in the fortunate position to receive multiple donations, please consider sharing the love with your neighbouring schools.
BookBuddy isn’t the answer to this growing crisis – that must come from the government. If the lack of books in schools worries you too, please write to your MP or the Department of Education to ask why schools aren’t receiving the vital funding they need.
But in the meantime, if you want to do something wonderful to help our children have access to the books that should be a basic childhood right, become a BookBuddy today and ensure more school libraries live happily ever after.
Thank you so much,