LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The London Evening Standard and NOOK will host a free literary Get Reading festival for children in the iconic Trafalgar Square on Saturday 13th July. The free event will see children take part in a giant read-a-thon with famous authors and celebrity storytellers. The day will feature interactive entertainment for the whole family and will be open to anyone from London and across the UK.
The Mayor of London today added his support to the festival as part of the London Evening Standard and NOOK’s pioneering partnership to support child literacy. The London Evening Standard’s groundbreaking literacy campaign, Get London Reading, has recently partnered with NOOK to bolster its efforts to make reading more accessible across the UK.
To underline his support, Boris will visit St Mary’s Catholic Primary School on 16th May to take part in a read-along session of a popular children’s book with the children. Boris will be joined by Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the London Evening Standard and The Independent, who will also read a short story to the children as part of the visit to celebrate the launch of Get Reading.
Also joining them will be Jim Hilt, Managing Director of Barnes & Noble, who will be there to donate Barnes & Noble’s award winning NOOK eReaders. Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookseller, has partnered with the Evening Standard and the Get London Reading campaign to help advance the cause of literacy and enrich reading for all ages across the UK.
The London Evening Standard’s Get London Reading campaign is designed to help struggling readers to catch up with their peers and to maximise the opportunities that reading brings. Launched in June 2011, Get London Reading has raised £1 million, including a £500,000 investment from the Mayor’s Fund for London, to fund the training and supply of reading helpers into schools in association with campaign partner Beanstalk. The campaign has already helped over 2,000 London children improve their reading and has also seen hundreds of London Evening Standard readers volunteer their time to go into schools each week to help children with their reading.
Barnes & Noble worked with leading publishers in the UK to contribute their favourite children’s books, for free, to support the Get Reading campaign nationwide. Hachette, Harper Collins, Penguin and Random House have all donated books including Rainbow Magic: The Rainbow Fairies 1: Ruby the Red Fairy, Mr. Stink, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Tom’s Sausage Lion. These books will be available on the 1,000 NOOK eReaders NOOK is donating to reading volunteers from Beanstalk, a national literacy charity who go into schools as part of the Get London Reading programme to help children be inspired by reading.
The partnership with leading publishers and NOOK is an important part of NOOK’s commitment to making digital reading accessible to people across the UK. Previously announced NOOK is making its range of award-winning eReader devices more affordable, with the NOOK Simple Touch, at £29 down from £79, and NOOK Simple Touch GlowLight, at £69 down from £109.
The London Evening Standard and NOOK Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Inc, launched their partnership to support Get London Reading last month.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said: "I would like to see a London where kids are no longer illiterate at age 11. The target, the ambition, must be to stamp out illiteracy of 11-year-olds, and this is where the London Evening Standard's literacy campaign has done such great, pioneering work. Think of the potential out there – nearly one in five kids are leaving primary school unable to read or write at age 11, think of what they would go on to achieve, think of the economic benefits that would bring to London if we could turn that round and turn these kids onto reading. Reading is simply one of life’s greatest joys and something every child should relish. The Standard is making immense efforts to tackle illiteracy with their campaign, which I whole heartedly support. Making reading fun and appealing helps equip our young people with the skills they need to prosper. I do hope as many of you as possible can make it to Trafalgar Square in July for the giant readathon, packed full of literacy boosting activities and famous book lovers.”
David Cohen, Campaigns Editor for the London Evening Standard, said: "Our campaign has helped thousands of reluctant readers to discover the joy of reading so that they can leave primary school reading at the required national level. This free read-along festival will be a unique opportunity for families and children to experience the magic of being transported by story in an iconic setting."
Jim Hilt, Managing Director, Barnes & Noble said: “Engagement is a huge part of a child’s path to literacy and this festival provides the perfect opportunity to showcase just that. It’s going to be a celebration of books, creating inspiration and excitement around our favourite children’s stories. Together with leading UK publishers we’ve been able to donate some of these titles to the Get Reading programme. We came to the UK to be a part of the fabric of community by creating affordable access to reading and believe that this donation will help us further this campaign.”
Additional details on the Get Reading line up and how the public can register will be revealed shortly.
Notes to editors
About London Evening Standard
The London Evening Standard is London’s only free quality evening title and distributes nearly 750,000 copies a day – reaching out to 1.7 million Londoners. It was bought by Evgeny Lebedev in January 2009 and is edited by Sarah Sands.
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is a Fortune 500 company and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The company operates 677 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). Its NOOK Media LLC subsidiary is a leader in the emerging digital reading and digital education markets. The NOOK digital business offers award-winning NOOK® products and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store™ (www.nook.com), while Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC operates 678 bookstores serving over 4.6 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named. Barnes & Noble.com is ranked the number one online retailer in customer satisfaction in the book, music and video category and a Top 10 online retailer overall in customer satisfaction according to ForeSee E-Retail Satisfaction Index (Spring Top 100 Edition).
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.
NOOK®, NOOK Store™, NOOK Video™, NOOK Video Apps™ are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Other trademarks referenced in this release are the property of their respective owners.
About NOOK Media LLC
NOOK reading and entertainment products make it easy to read what you love, anywhere you like™ with a fun, easy-to-use and immersive digital reading experience. With NOOK, customers gain access to the expansive NOOK Store™ of more than 3 million digital books, plus periodicals, comics, apps, movies and TV shows, and the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through free NOOK Reading Apps™ and NOOK Video apps, available at www.nook.com/freenookapps. NOOK owners receive Always Free NOOK Support in any of Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 bookstores. Find NOOK devices in Barnes & Noble stores and online at www.nook.com, as well as leading retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, Target and many others. NOOK products are available in the United Kingdom through www.nook.co.uk and leading retailers.