The Books Council will be closed from Thursday, 23 December 2021 until after the holidays and will return on Tuesday, 4 January 2022.
Welsh Government announces £5m investment in reading engagement and book-gifting for children and young people across Wales
The Books Council of Wales warmly welcomes the announcement of the significant additional funding from Welsh Government which will deliver the #SchoolsLoveReading book-gifting campaign starting in spring 2022. As part of this multi-million-pound investment in reading engagement, a selection of 50 books will be sent to every state school in Wales, in addition to an individual book for every pupil to keep. The programme will mean that learners across Wales have equal access to a diverse range of appealing and quality literature, in Welsh and English, that has been specially selected for children and young people.
Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, said: “This significant investment by Welsh Government underlines the importance of reading engagement in childhood, and we know that a habit of reading is one of the greatest determining factors in terms of educational attainment. We are delighted to support Welsh Government’s book-gifting campaigns as they make such a difference to schools and pupils across Wales, and this additional funding means that we can deliver more books to more pupils and spark a love of reading that they will benefit from for life.
Our newly published 5-year strategy sets out the Books Council’s vision for Wales as a Reading Nation and underlines our own commitment to increasing reading engagement and to expanding universal book-gifting programmes. I’m delighted that Welsh Government have recognised the importance of this area of work and we’re looking forward to working in partnership with them to support this exciting and ambitious programme.”
In his announcement of the extra funding, Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “Speaking, listening and reading skills play a fundamental part in our everyday lives. If we want to close the attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers, then improving reading skills is vital.
“We must ignite a passion for reading in children at a young age so that we can give them the habits and skills they’ll need later in life.
“Reading is essential in making sure learners have every opportunity to access the full breadth of the new Curriculum for Wales, the aims of which are underpinned by improved literacy and oracy among younger learners.”
The Minister added: “I am delighted that I am able to demonstrate the life-changing importance of books, reading and oracy by providing a book for every child and young person in Wales – as well as funding for more books in schools and families.”
Our Story – publishing voices today
To mark our 60th anniversary, two short films have been commissioned, Our Story – publishing voices today and Ein Stori – Lleisiau cyhoeddi heddiw, celebrating the publishing industry in Wales.
Through the voices of Richard Davies, Jannat Ahmed, Lynda Tunnicliffe and others, Our Story – publishing voices today explores the contribution of the Books Council of Wales over the past 60 years and looks forward towards future challenges and opportunities.
Watch Ein Stori – lleisiau cyhoeddi heddiw, our Welsh-language film, here.
Wales: A Reading Nation – Launching the Books Council of Wales’s 5-year Strategic Plan
For 60 years the Books Council of Wales has advanced its purpose to support the publishing industry in Wales and to promote reading for pleasure.
As we mark our anniversary, we are proud to share our new strategy that sets out our ambitions and vision for the next 5 years.
It outlines how we will progress with our mission to support the publishing industry and promote reading in the context of a Covid recovery, contributing to the Welsh Government’s Programme of Government and Well-being Statements and supporting the industry to respond to the opportunities and challenges of the future.
Read our strategy HERE
Two Rivers from a Common Spring: The Books Council of Wales at 60 published today
Two Rivers from a Common Spring: The Books Council of Wales at 60 is published today to mark the organisation’s anniversary.
The beautiful volume tells the story of the Books Council over the last 60 years, from its origins in the 1960s to the present day.
The volume is edited by Gwen Davies, with original linocuts by artist Molly Brown. It is presented in memory of Alun Creunant, the first Director of the Books Council of Wales.
There are contributions from a variety of voices within the publishing industry, including Professor M. Wynn Thomas, Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, publisher Richard Davies, bookseller Eirian James, and writer and poet Hanan Issa.
The beautiful hardback volume is now available from your local bookshop.
Here’s a taste of a chapter by Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales.