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The need

One person in six in the UK lives with poor literacy. This holds them back at every stage of their life. As a child they won't be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and on becoming a parent they won't be able to support their child's learning.

However, research has shown that engaging children in reading for enjoyment is one of the most effective ways of helping children reach their potential, and that is exactly what the Young Readers Programme seeks to do.

GraphOne in five children in the UK leave primary school unable to read at the expected level

About the programme

The Young Readers Programme motivates children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to read for enjoyment. 

Children taking part in the project are taught book choice strategies and are able to choose free books of their own to keep at three events throughout the year, thus sustaining their positive experiences of books and reading.



Since 1996 the programme has given over 1 million books to almost 375,000 children.

Our most recent evaluation highlights the positive impact that the Young Readers Programme has had on participating children.

89.7% of teaching staff who responded to the survey believed their pupils were more enthusiastic about reading following the programme.



Developing a whole school culture of reading for enjoyment is key to improving children’s literacy. The Young Readers Programme provides training, resources and support to help schools and teachers feel better equipped to promote reading for enjoyment. 

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The Young Readers Programme is supported by corporate partners, trusts and foundations. Many of our corporate partners not only fund the programme but also add significant extra value to the programme through volunteering their time to help at one or more Young Readers Programme events in a local school.

YRP Partners2

Contact us

We do not currently have any availability for new primary schools to join the Young Readers Programme, however you are welcome to add your details to our Expression of Interest Form to be informed of future opportunities.

Alternatively, you could sign up to our regular newsletter which features our current opportunities for schools.

The Young Readers Programme team can be reached via email:

Our membership network

Young Readers Programme participants are members of our Network: access amazing literacy resources, support and planning tools.

Explore our Network now
Continuing Professional Development

We offer a range of Continuing Professional Development training enabling teachers to become outstanding literacy leaders.

Find out more here
Latest Impact Report

Read the National Literacy Trust's latest impact report to learn more about the work we do as a charity.

Read Impact Report
Young Readers Programme news

We regularly publish news and success stories about the programme.

Read more news

The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.