In the UK, nearly 400,000 children don’t have a book of their own. World Book Day aims to see more children, from all backgrounds, developing a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and benefitting from the improved life chances this brings them. By making a donation or raising funds for World Book Day, you can help change lives through a love of books and shared reading.
World Book Day was created by UNESCO in 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books, now celebrated by over 100countries around the globe. The first World Book Day in the UK took place in 1997 where every child and young person were offered a token which could be exchanged for a book from a range of authors, providing the opportunity for many to have a book of their own for the very first time.
According to World Book Day, reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. Therefore their mission is to see children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.
As World Book Day founder, Baroness Gail Rebuck recalls, “We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives.”
Book tokens aren’t the only way World Book Day helps children; the money raised by schools for World Book Day goes towards various causes, including Book Aid International, a charity that sends half a million books to children in 12countries of sub-Saharan Africa. They also host Readathon, a UK-wide reading event that raises money to help seriously ill children.
World Book Day 2023 falls on 2nd March, where children of all ages will come together to share the power of reading. Spending just 10 minutes a day sharing stories with children and reading with them can make a crucial difference to their future.
That’s why World Book Day continues to encourage children and young people to read for pleasure through its work with authors, illustrators, publishers, bookshops and libraries.