Hackney pupils gifted books as part of UK reading campaign

A schoolgirl reads Anisha Accidental Detective

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the National Literacy Trust have teamed up to give away almost 23,000 copies of Serena Patel’s Anisha, Accidental Detective to 240 primary schools, including Hackney's The Olive School - Credit: PinPep

A van delivering books to pupils across the country will be visiting a Hackney primary school.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the National Literacy Trust have teamed up to give away almost 23,000 copies of Serena Patel's award-winning book, Anisha Accidental Detective to 240 primary schools, including The Olive School on St John's Church Road. 

The van's six-day reading road trip, starting on December 6, will take it from Belfast to London.

It has been specially decorated by the book's illustrator Emma McCann, featuring characters from the book. 

Van delivering books to UK primary schools

The van delivering books was specially decorated for the trip - Credit: James Pinniger/PinPep

Author Serena Patel said she supported the campaign to promote reading for pleasure: "The lockdowns have been tough for everyone and so being part of such a positive, inspiring project is a massive privilege. I couldn't be prouder that Anisha will be helping encourage children to discover the excitement of reading."

The National Literacy Trust has worked with Enterprise to identify communities across the UK that will benefit from an injection of books with aims to encourage more reading among young children. 

Children will be able to take books home as gifts to reinforce classroom learning. 

Schoolkids read books

The book tour aims to encourage more children to read for pleasure - Credit: James Pinniger/PinPep

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Enterprise employees have also recorded a read-along version of the book which children can access via an online link or QR code as an added aid to help them read.

The initiative was made possible with a £128,000 donation from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation as part of the $55 million global ROAD Forward initiative that promotes social and racial equity projects across the world.

School pupils read books

The van will deliver thousands of books to 240 primary schools in nine UK cities to encourage reading at home - Credit: PinPep

Darranda Rowswell, director of development at the National Literacy Trust, said: “Around one in 11 children from lower income families don’t have a book of their own at home.

"Reading is not just great fun, but it’s a vital skill and we want all children to love reading.

"Children and young people who enjoy reading and who read frequently are better readers, helping them to realise their fullest potential at school and in life."

Simon Caughey-Rogers, Enterprise’s corporate social responsibility and charity events manager, said: “Many of our super star employees also struggled with reading at school. Every child should get the support they need to be their best."