Support our new campaign to provide more books to schools

Golden Valley Primary School pupils reading books in reading area.

Golden Valley Primary School pupils reading books in reading area. - Credit: Archant

Reading is one of the most important skills a child can learn, but as schools struggle with funding cuts, teachers have less money to spend on books.

Books for Schools campaign.

Books for Schools campaign. - Credit: Archant

According to research carried out by Save The Children, nearly a fifth of all pupils in England are unable to read well when they leave primary school.

Evidence shows children who can read do better at school and have access to more career opportunities in later life.

However, many children struggle with the skill in their first few years at school – and most of those never catch up.

Schools across North Somerset have come up with a number of innovative ways to enourage children to read more by running competitions, rewards for regular reading, book clubs, author visits and one-to-one support for pupils who are struggling.

Golden Valley Primary School in Nailsea encourages children to read every day to try to instill a love of reading.

Literacy co-ordinator Julie Bennett said: “We believe that reading is crucial to children’s development in so many ways.

Most Read

“When children develop a love of reading and books, it opens up a new world to them and enables them to develop their creativity and descriptive language.

“Reading provides the opportunity to escape everyday life and to explore new worlds, in the past, present and future.

“Children learn about the world around them without realising it and they develop the skills needed to be fantastic writers too.

“Obviously we keep up to date with new books and authors and it is important to replenish our stocks – that is the costly bit.

“In key stage one and key stage two, we recommend that children read every day if possible, with ‘three times a week’ being our minimum.

“When children don’t read regularly at home, we do speak to parents, but we also make them priority readers and ensure they are heard by teachers, learning support assistants and volunteers regularly in school.

“We try to enrich children’s reading experience with author visits as often as possible.

“We hold book fairs twice a year which helps us to add to our stock of books as we receive some commission from the books that the parents kindly purchase.

“We also use Nailsea Library to source multiple copies of books for our school book group which we run in year six.”

The North Somerset is today launching a Books For Schools campaign to give primary-aged pupils access to more books in lessons.

We are appealing for charities, businesses and families to donate books or gift vouchers to us so we can share them out among local infant, junior and primary schools.

Any schools keen to win books for their libraries should write to us to tell us about any reading schemes they run to help children develop a love of reading.

Once a month, we will pick one winner from the Mercury and Times area and hand over a selection of books or vouchers so the school can pick their own.

To be in with a chance of winning the first batch of books, write in to Books For Schools, North Somerset Times, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1LW, or email

People can also donate books at our office in Waterloo Street, Weston.