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Giving the gift of reading, from prison

“Shows I need to sit down and read more to my kids. Good to give to the kids and they’ll enjoy it.”  Storybook Dad

Our guest blogger, Olivia Loveridge of charity Give A Book talks about their work to give the gift of reading to disadvantaged families. 

At Give a Book, our aim is to give books where they can really make a difference. We work mainly with schools & prisons and are working more than ever on family reading initiatives in prisons. The importance of family contact for both prisoners and their families is well-recognised and shared reading is a great way for families to stay connected.

One of the projects we support is Storybook Dads, a charity which allows fathers in prison to record stories to send to their children.

Give a Book now supply corresponding books to be sent with these story discs, so that children can not only watch and hear their parent read to them but can read along too.

gift of reading, tidy books, charity, give a book Story Book Dads project connects dads in prison with their children through stories

It makes life easier for the little one at bedtimes. It's as though they’re reading to him, he really loves his stories and it helped all of us. Thank you for this opportunity to bond with my family.”

This year we also piloted a new Family reading initiative, Making It Up, at HMP Wormwood Scrubs. Leading up to a prison family visit day, fathers took part in workshops where they learnt about the importance of reading with their children, different types of stories, and created their own storybook for their children.

On the day, families who came into the prison watched and listened to author and illustrator Chris Riddell as he sketched and read out loud from his new book. We plan to repeat the project in more prisons next year, following wonderful comments like these from the families who took part:

“Could have written more…Something for [my child] to take back. Really good.”

“Shows I need to sit down and read more to my kids. Good to give to the kids and they’ll enjoy it.”

gift of reading Give a Book's family reading projects with dads in prisons

If you'd like to give the gift of reading this year, find out more about more about Give a Book’s projects, please have a look at our website.  If you would like to make a donation to support our work, you can do so here.

Thanks to Give a Book for their guest post, and thanks to everyone who's supported their work through the Tidy Books E17 Kid's Book Drops, which we host on a weekly basis in our East London office.   If you'd like to give the gift of reading to another family this year, donate quality children's books at our offices for Give a Book's collection, or make a donation to Give a Book

2 thoughts on “Giving the gift of reading, from prison”

  • Zoe

    Hi There!

    My name is Zoe. I’m an Italian teacher and I teach Italian in a prison here in Italy. My hobby is to read books to the kids and I agree this project so much!
    Good luck!

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