Claire von Schilling
Penguin Random House, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications
Phone: + 1 212 782 98 76
Country: Great Britain
Each year the Charity Committee of the DK UK publishing group decides which charity organization will be the official charity partner of the company for a full year – a voluntary commitment with a long tradition. Last year, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) was DK's official charity partner; this year, it's Booktrust, the UK's largest reading charity.
DK will focus on raising public awareness for the importance of reading and for the Booktrust charity programs. The publishing group will also support its employees in London to help raise vital funds for Booktrust. Last year, the campaigns of the DK employees, which ranged from charity runs to bake sales, raised a total of £27,437 for RNIB .
This year, the DK charity focuses on the pleasure of reading. The promotion of reading is urgently needed – and certainly not just in the UK. A study by the Department for Education showed that one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11. Studies also show that reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on educational outcomes, wellbeing and social mobility. Booktrust currently reaches 2.5 million children across the UK by providing books, resources and support to help develop a love for reading, as well as additional support for disadvantaged children.
Ian Hudson, CEO of DK, said: "Booktrust works to bring reading to all and, as a publisher whose mandate it is to create accessible books for children, we are thrilled to be partnering with the Booktrust team to help get every child reading." DK and Booktrust had already established a strong relationship through the charity's "Bookstart" program, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The DK title "Baby Faces" will be included in "Bookstart" packs sent to every family that has a new baby in the UK.
Diana Gerald, CEO of Booktrust, said: "We are delighted to be DK's charity partner for 2017 and very much look forward to working with them on various projects over the coming year. Evidence shows that children who read for pleasure do better in life. This new partnership will enable us to continue bringing books, advice and support to families to help ensure that every child has access to books they enjoy, inspiring a love for reading and transforming lives."