18 January 2021 Share
Much-loved children’s authors are offering free electronic copies of their work on weekly basis.
Online classroom platform Oak National Academy is launching a new partnership with the National Literacy Trust to provide free access to books for children across the UK in this third national lockdown.
The Virtual School Library will host free reading and writing content from children’s authors, providing a free-to-access book every week from the platform’s author of the week.
Dame Jacqueline Wilson's The Story of Tracy Beaker, illustrated by Nick Sharratt, is the first book to feature and will be free to access and read from 18th Jan for a week. Other titles include:
The initiative aims to increase access to e-books and audiobooks for the most disadvantaged young readers during school closures and support the literacy of children most affected by Covid-19.
Research by The National Literacy Trust during the initial school closures in 2020 found that:
A love of reading starts with access to books and reading is hugely beneficial not only for children’s literacy skills, but also their mental health and wellbeing.
Many teachers have asked about access to online books, or reading aloud during lockdown. While this Virtual Library won't replace a complete e-book platform in schools where schools can choose their own bookstock, it does help schools who do not currently have this set up. The authors and publishers giving copyright permission for all this do so to support that love of reading, inspite of losing income themselves during the pandemic.
E-book platforms available to schools can be found on the SLA website by searching for "E-book platforms".
You can visit the Virtual School Library here.