Hachette UK has announced a new, three-year partnership with the National Literacy Trust where the two organisations will co-create programmes to help children, young people and adults in disadvantaged communities to develop life-changing literacy skills. The partnership launches as Hachette UK celebrates the fifth anniversary of ‘Changing the Story’ and strengthens its commitment to unlocking new worlds of learning, entertainment and opportunity for a more diverse range of readers than ever before.
The first year of the partnership with the National Literacy Trust will focus on helping primary school children who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 to develop the reading skills they need to catch up. The programme will be designed around Hodder Education Group’s Rising Stars Reading Planet scheme, which celebrates diversity and champions individuality through stories, characters and themes that reflect the world we live in today.
The programme will initially focus on 25 primary schools around the UK, combining a donation of the Reading Planet scheme with the National Literacy Trust’s resources and teacher training, to help over 500 disadvantaged children. The schools will also receive book donations from Hachette Children’s Group, while the National Literacy Trust will create opportunities for Hachette UK staff to volunteer and fundraise in the second half of the year.
David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK, commented: “I’m delighted that we’re going to be working more closely with the National Literacy Trust and it’s very fitting that we’re kicking off our partnership as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of ‘Changing the Story’. As we recover and rebuild after the pandemic, we must help those who have been disproportionately affected and ensure no child gets left behind. We believe books can change lives for the better, particularly when children see their own diversity reflected and celebrated in the stories they read and that’s why we’ve put Reading Planet at the heart of our first programme with the National Literacy Trust. I’m looking forward to seeing what our partnership can achieve over the next three years.”
Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: “I’m thrilled that the National Literacy Trust has been named Hachette UK’s official charity partner for the next three years! We are incredibly grateful to the members of Hachette UK staff who will be fundraising and volunteering their time to help us create and run literacy programmes for children and adults, to help those in areas of disadvantage and those whose education has been most adversely affected by COVID-19, as well as providing more diverse books to schools.
“We are proud to be part of Hachette UK’s Changing the Story vision. Our strategic partnership focuses on issues around equality, diversity and inclusion, which sit at the heart of the literacy challenge in the UK. We share a moral purpose to get the nation reading and I look forward to the great things we will achieve together.”