Back at the beginning of the year we put up a post where people could vote on various literacy charities we were considering as our charitable partners. We've finally got around to writing this post and are really happy to announce that the winner of that poll was Give a Book, a charity which works with many other charities to provide books.
From our May box onwards we'll be donating £1 for every box sold to them, and we'll also have a button on our homepage where you can donate separately - our sales margins unfortunately don't allow us to donate for every sale, but if you're buying a mini box, gifts or stationery and want to support this excellent charity then you'll be able to use the button to donate straight to their Virgin Money page.
So that you can all get to know a little more about Give a Book and what they do, I interviewed Olivia from the charity to find out about them!
Can you tell us a little about what Give a Book does and why it was set up?
Give a Book is a charity that provides books where they can be of particular benefit. This might be in schools which are struggling to get children to engage in reading, or which lack funding to properly stock their libraries. Or in prisons, where an opportunity to enjoy reading and improve literacy can make such a difference to a person's life. It was set up in 2011 in memory of Simon Gray, based on the idea that giving a book is an act of real value.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about what Give a Book does?
So many people care about reading and have experienced the pleasure and engagement it can bring. Bringing that new experience to people who will genuinely benefit from it, and who might otherwise lack access to books, is very important to anyone who loves reading.
How important do you think literacy and books are in daily life?
Extremely! It is something that a lot of people might take for granted, but literacy is so integral to everyday life.
The National Literacy Trust Report in 2011 was very well researched and shows how central literacy and reading are to people’s lives. “Reading for pleasure has been revealed as the most important indicator of the future success of a child (OECD, 2002)… For many addressing literacy skills is a key first step in beginning to address and overcome other related factors that lock individuals into a cycle of disadvantage. Ensuring children and young people enjoy reading, and can access books and other reading materials should therefore be a priority for schools, homes and communities across the UK.”
Any recommendations for ways people can easily help to improve literacy or any great projects they can support?
We work with a number of partners and organisations which are helping to improve literacy by showing the far-reaching importance of reading as well as spreading the pleasure of reading. You can find out more about who we work with, and how to help, here.
Because we ask everyone who talks to us, what are some of your favourite books?
Having the chance to regularly support something like Give a Book was a dream when I first launched Ninja Book Box - it's an extension of our passion for supporting independent publishers and small businesses for me - everything goes back into the community and helps make the country a slightly better place. Yes, it's idealistic optimism all the way around here!
If you want to donate right now you can do that using the button at the bottom of this post, or you can buy our summer 'A Grand Adventure' box (three books, no gifts and customisable to contain adult, YA or kids books, all independently published of course!) and we'll donate £1 for every box sold.