Book of Hopes Launch Press Release

Babcock LDP

Today, 338 primary schools in Devon will receive paperback copies of Bloomsbury Publishing’s The Book of Hopes, thanks to Bupa Foundation and the National Literacy Trust. The donation aims to provide an essential boost of hope to children in Devon during the second national lockdown.

The Book of Hopes is Bloomsbury’s collection of inspiring short stories, artwork and poems from more than 130 much-loved children’s authors, illustrators and poets. It was launched and curated by author Katherine Rundell in response to the first national lockdown in April.

A digital version of the book, which is now available in bookshops across the country, first appeared on the National Literacy Trust’s website in spring. Over 400,000 households visited the site and were inspired by work from the likes of Axel Scheffler, Onjali Q. Raúf and Jacqueline Wilson while many schools were closed in response to COVID-19. Resources from Devon-based education support service, Babcock LDP, were developed to engage children in the summer and autumn terms.

The National Literacy Trust is launching a competition for all 5,000 schools who received the donations nationwide, and encourages children from Devon to get involved.

The charity is requesting teachers and children share information on how they’re spreading optimism and hope in school and the community, taking inspiration from the artwork and writing in Bloomsbury’s original version. Teachers are asked to collate the work to create a Scrapbook of Hopes. Entrants will be in for a chance to win a set of Katherine Rundell’s best-selling books and exclusively signed artwork for their school library. One school will receive a virtual visit from Katherine Rundell.

The competition runs from 26 November until 31 January, and teachers should complete a short form and submit photos of their unique work to bookofhopes@literacytrust.org.uk.

The National Literacy Trust research shows that reading for pleasure improves mental wellbeing, with more than half (59%) of children saying reading in lockdown this spring made them feel better and half (50%) saying it inspired them to dream about the future.

Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust says:

“Earlier this year, we were thrilled to see hundreds of thousands of people visit our website to download Bloomsbury’s magical Book of Hopes. The collection of writing and artwork provided much-needed light when the world seemed rather dark.

“As the country remains in the midst of its second lockdown, we are truly delighted to be spreading the unique joy of children’s literature with 5,000 primary schools. We are all in need of hope.”

Shirley Humphreys, Director at Babcock Education says:

We are delighted to partner with the National Literacy Trust promoting the Book of Hopes gifting campaign. Our English Lead Advisor, Rebecca Cosgrave, has worked closely with the trust to ensure the Book of Hopes inspires young readers in Devon. The timing of this campaign is so relevant to the current situation where schools are working hard to catch up on the impact on the curriculum and children falling behind with their literacy.

We encourage primary school teachers and pupils across the South West to enter this fantastic competition, the Scrapbook of Hopes. If you’re looking for extra support, our resources are still available online

Alex Cole, Chair of the Bupa Foundation says:

“The Bupa Foundation is proud to support this important initiative to put the Book of Hopes into the hands of children who might need it the most. The National Literacy Trust has shown the valuable and important link between literacy and the wellbeing of children and young people. We cannot wait to see entries to the Scrapbook of Hopes competition from primary schools and hear how children have spread hope, kindness and a love of reading within their communities.”

The activity continues the work the National Literacy Trust does with Devon-based Babcock using The Book of Hopes to support school learning. The charity has also worked with Twinkl and Place2be to develop resources alongside the book.

More information on Bupa Foundation’s donation of 15,000 copies of The Book of Hopes and ideas, resources and inspiration for the Scrapbook of Hopes competition can be found at: literacytrust.org.uk/scrapbook-of-hopes.

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