World Book Day announces new events, online resources & activities for 4th March 2021

A programme of digital events featuring children’s favourites, fun online learning opportunities, and a celebrity-backed mass participation campaign – World Book Day invites everyone to join the biggest celebration of books and shared reading, whatever the circumstances on 4 March.

Covid-19 has contributed to widening the economic and educational gap and made it more difficult for many children to access books; 400,000 children and young people in the UK don’t have a book of their own1. As a charity, World Book Day is at the forefront of tackling this book poverty – by offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.

Cassie Chadderton, CEO, today said that World Book Day 2021 – designed around even more accessibility and inclusivity – meant bringing “a moment of joy and hope to children and families in these difficult times”. Many agencies are reporting the effect of lockdown on children’s health and wellbeing, particularly those from lower socioeconomic groups. The charity stresses that the wide-ranging consequences of Covid-19 have further increased the need to promote reading for pleasure as the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success. World Book Day’s new initiatives include:

• A fully digital, free Share a Story Live events programme

• The Authors and Illustrators Academy

• A Show your Shares mass online participation campaign

• A suite of online toolkits

• A programme of ‘Share a Story’ YouTube readings

These come in addition to two previously announced digital initiatives: the World Book Day Book Club for 5+ and 9+ audiences, and Share a Story Corner for early readers. World Book Day CEO Cassie Chadderton said: “World Book Day tackles book poverty and brings the joy of books and shared reading to children and families. Social inequalities – economic and educational – have become more exposed this year, and World Book Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate reading for pleasure, an activity that makes a huge and positive difference to our children’s futures. After all children have experienced this year World Book Day’s mission is more relevant than it has ever been.”

World Book Day has again assembled a coalition of high-profile partners to support its message and reach more children and families. These include McDonald’s, Royal Mail and the Beano – with many more still to be announced.

A line-up of influential ambassadors and champions will boost the campaign, with names to be released next month.

The charity is also working closely with its partners in bookselling and publishing, its sponsor, National Book Tokens, in schools and nurseries, libraries, prisons and with other charities to make World Book Day a powerful and positive event this year. To give children more options for receiving their £1 book, this year children and families can redeem their £1 token when they collect essential shopping OR hold on to it to use later. World Book Day has introduced a single-use digital token, giving schools a lockdown-friendly option to distribute tokens to families. World Book Day’s £1 books can be found in major supermarkets as well as bookshop chains, and bookshops are offering new ways to make the £1 books available, even in lockdown. The charity is working closely with booksellers on creative ways to get books to children across the country. Booksellers will honour the tokens beyond 28 March (while stocks last) and many are planning to welcome families to World Book Day events later in spring.

Find our more, and join the conversation, via: worldbookday.com | @WorldBookDayUK | #WorldBookDay

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