Children's Books Ireland's vision is an Ireland in which every child is a reader, and our book gifting schemes help to get books into the hands of as many young readers as possible. These schemes have substantially expanded over the past few years thanks to the generous support of various partners and funders. Key areas of book-gifting now include schools, educational and healthcare settings and children's charities.
Benefits of book gifting
Reading has the power to change lives for the better, with research clearly demonstrating an array of positive outcomes:
- Reading for pleasure improves literacy and numeracy, builds vocabulary and helps mental wellbeing in young children
- Reading for pleasure is more important for children's cognitive development than their parents' level of education, and is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background
- Books act as mirrors and windows, reflecting a child's own reality as well as giving them an insight into the lives of others whose culture and point of view may be different from their own
- Above all, reading sparks imagination and brings joy
This is why it's so important to us to gift books to as many young people as possible, especially those who may not otherwise be able to access them.
Children's Books Ireland advocates for well-stocked school libraries with appropriate staff to guide young readers. Unfortunately, many schools lack the support to make this a reality. Our book-gifting projects focus on schools in need or experiencing disadvantage and give students equal opportunities to read excellent books, bring artists into the classroom virtually or in-person to boost their enjoyment of reading, and support teachers with resources to promote reading for pleasure and creative engagement with books. Each year, we do an open call-out for schools to apply for various book-gifting opportunities. We assesses the particular needs of each school we work with and, within the constraints of our budget, aim to address issues and build on strengths to develop a strong reading culture within the school.
Book gifting initiatives for schools:
Free To Be Me Little Libraries, Enterprise ROAD Forward Initiative, The BOLD GIRLS schools programme, Bookbag, Every Child A Reader, Every Child A Reader: Reading Communities, Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries.
National baby book-gifting schemes operate around the world, and a wealth of research evidence shows the developmental benefits of reading with infants and young children, as well as the positive impacts of shared reading on families. Establishing a nationwide book-gifting scheme for every child in Ireland is one of our long-term goals, and our baby book-gifting projects encourage families to enjoy books together and start their children on a lifelong journey with reading.
Book gifting initiatives for babies: Bookseed
Research highlights the importance of access to books and the value of reading during difficult times. To further promote universal access to books, we donate books and reading resources to a number of children's charities each year. Our work in this area has been generously supported by the public as well as numerous corporate funders and donors.
If your charity would be interested in partnering with Children's Books Ireland, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We work with numerous corporate partners on individualised book-gifting projects. If you are a corporate funder or donor and would be interested in partnering with Children's Books Ireland, please contact Development Manager, Gráinne Kennedy at email@example.com.
Parent-led reading with babies and children in hospital forms a connection between parent and child in a simple but meaningful way. Reading to children in hospital also helps to relax and soothe both child and parent and promotes brain development in young children. Throughout the year, we provide a range of book-gifting supports to children in hospital and their families, providing comfort at what can be a very difficult time. To find out more, email Aoife McDonnell, Book Gifting Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.