Egmont UK and The Booksellers Association are delighted to reveal the eight bookshops that will participate in the BA/Egmont Eager Readers Project.
The BA/Egmont Eager Readers Project was was announced earlier this year as part of the BA’s Diversity & Inclusiveness initiative.
Cally Poplak, Managing Director, said: ‘The quality of submissions was truly inspiring. All eight bookshops demonstrated a deep commitment to engaging disadvantaged families and families from ethnic minorities, and a thoughtful understanding of Egmont’s research methodology and how to roll it out in their local community.’
The partnership is based on the far-reaching research work done by Egmont with Foyles (Print Matters More) and WH Smith (The Reading Magic Project) which proved the vital role of being read to and free choice in inspiring children to read for pleasure.
The BA/Egmont Eager Readers Project will fund these eight independent bookshops to create a six-week summer reading initiative in their local communities. If the pilot is successful, the hope is that more booksellers will adopt the programme in order to secure new loyal customers.
Booksellers will work with local schools to sign up local families with a child between the ages of 7 and 11, who is reluctant to read and with parents who find it difficult to make time to read to their child.
Each child will be given a £10 Book Token each week for six weeks and invited to choose any book they like from the participating bookshop. The parents will receive a £10 coffee shop voucher for a local cafe each week to enable the family to make an outing of the visit.
In return, the parents will commit to reading to their children every day for 20 minutes, for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, the families will be given a ‘thank you’ Book Token.
The intention – proven by our previous research projects – is that those six weeks sharing the experience of reading together will transform the parents’ attitudes to reading to their child and the children’s attitudes to reading for pleasure.
Meryl Halls, Managing Director at The Booksellers Association, said: ‘We are thrilled to be working with Egmont in making this project a reality for independent bookshops, having seen the massive impact Foyles and WHS had with their projects.
We are looking forward to seeing the bookshop projects come to fruition and to hearing from the bookshops about the readers they’ve created.’