Avanti West Coast has donated hundreds of books to primary schools along its route to encourage children to read and help them learn about diversity.
Working with Little Box of Books – a children’s book company that find representative, inclusive books from a diverse range of authors – the train operator has gifted hundreds of titles to 18 schools local to the West Coast Main Line.
Boxes containing 100 books that reflect society were delivered to primary schools in London, Birmingham, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Holyhead, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Manchester, Wigan, Preston, Glasgow, and Edinburgh ahead of World Book Day 2023. Teachers also received a webinar to talk them through how to use the books in their classroom.
The donations are designed to get young people reading, while giving them access to literature that represents society.
This is the second year Avanti West Coast has teamed up with the children’s book company to give pupils the opportunity to read. It is part of its commitment to engage with 4,000 pupils through its School Programme, which aims to connect those from different ethnicities and disadvantaged backgrounds to opportunities.
To help children celebrate World Book Day, Avanti West Coast staff will read to children from the selection of books as part of sessions being held at schools and its stations.
Rachel Jones, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at Avanti West Coast, said: “We’re proud to have teamed up with Little Box of Books once again to give local children the chance to read some lovely titles that reflect the world we live in.
“We want to make a difference in our local communities, so by giving children access to books that represent the people and places we serve, we hope it will not only encourage them to read but to champion diversity, which is something close to our hearts here at Avanti West Coast.”
Founder and Director of Little Box of Books, Lynsey Pollard, said: “Inclusive books, that truly reflect our society, help children to expect and celebrate diversity. That’s why we’re so grateful for Avanti West Coast’s ongoing support, collaborating for a second year running with Little Box of Books to help diversify primary school bookshelves.
“Having access to books that show diversity in race, culture and family set up will help children to recognise diversity from a young age, and in turn create a more equal society for this future generation and generations to come.”
Photo credit: Avanti West Coast