Monday, 18 April 2016

Walking with words across Yorkshire

Book Bus Volunteer Gail Richards is walking 200kms across West Yorkshire to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Book Bus and raise funds. Below are some of Gail's highlights from week one, as she walked more than 50kms across the Yorkshire landscape.

All's calm as Gail begins her 200km walk

Colourful artwork on route to Wakefield 
Pupils from Calder High School present their stories for Gail to share 

Spen Valley Art Trail 

Reading Mr Happy in Roger Hargreaves country 

Reading Mr Happy to attentive sheep 
At the end of the valley with Alison & Kirsty

At Hepworth Art Gallery 
Calder & Hubble Navigation Canal signage

Thanks to everyone who has supported Gail along the way
Help Gail raise £10,000 for the Book Bus 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Jump aboard the Book Bus at London Book Fair

Book Bus Matilda, the latest edition to our mobile library bus fleet, is making an appearance at this years London Book Fair before she heads off to the warm heart of Africa, Malawi. 

​Adorned with beautiful illustrations by the world famous children's Illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake visitors to the London Book Fair at Olympia can jump abroad Matilda and find out how mobile libraries are empowering communities and helping engage children in reading. 

Book Bus Matilda will then set off on a 7,000 mile journey to become a mobile children's library in Mangochi, Malawi along the shore of Lake Malawi. 

The Book Bus is a UK based charity which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It works in Ecuador, Malawi and Zambia sharing books and supporting teachers and communities with their literacy programmes. 
Over the last 10 years the Book Bus has shared books with more than 100,000 children around the world.

Said Book Bus Director David Gordon, 
"We're delighted that we're taking part in this prestigious world London Book Fair. We're proud to be part of a global network of organisation helping to improve literacy which is a key skill for everyone in today's world. Every day our local team in Malawi is out in the community sharing books with schools and making reading fun. Matilda, our latest Book Bus, will ensure we spread the love of reading and help empower communities so they can have more opportunities and choices over their own lives," he concluded. 

International publishers, Motovun have kindly sponsored the new Book Bus, Matilda. 

Visitors to the London Book Fair are invited to pop along to stand 5D148 in the lower west hall and met the team and hear how our in-country teams are changing the world through the power of reading. 

More information: 

0208 099 9280


Monday, 4 April 2016

A reading programme with impact

“My favourite book is The Hare and the Tortoise. I like the way the tortoise takes his time but wins the race,” says 10 year old Angela Beaston. 

Angela celebrates her reading test results

Angela is one of 180 children on the Book Bus reading support programme in Mangochi, Malawi. 

It’s a programme that is showing impact. At the beginning of the programme, every child takes a reading test and their scores are recorded. The same test is used some six months later and children are showing an increase in reading ability by an average of 35%. 

Increase in reading ability 
The Book Bus reading project has partnered with two local schools to support teachers with their literacy programmes. Every week Book Bus Reading Team visits the schools and hears the children read. 

 “The children love the Book Bus reading programme.  We work in small groups which means each child has access to books, takes turns in reading and then we always have some kind of activity afterwards to see what the children have understood." 

Why Malawi? 
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and its education system has many challenges including average class sizes of 120 children per teacher with few resources to support teachers in their vital role. Books are rare and very expensive often costing more than one months wages. 

The Book Bus programme is currently piloting this, its first reading scheme, and it’s proving a big success. Choosing the right books is crucial to ensure the books are relevant and engaging to the children. Many of the books tell the stories of tales and fables from around the world. 

The programme not only helps the children to read, but the books open up new worlds to the children. They are learning about Aesop and ancient Greece through fables which really helps expand the children’s knowledge and encourages them to ask questions and explore further.

It's all about having an opportunity 

Joseph Chipanga is the Head teacher of Nansanga Primary school, one of the Book Bus partner schools. 
Head teacher Joseph Chipanga

“The impact has been simply incredible,“ he says. “This reading programme really supports the literacy work our teachers are doing. More and more children are now asking how they get on the reading programme. The children on the programme are absolutely becoming the highest performers in other subjects too. What’s important is these children are being given an opportunity - they are grasping it and we are now seeing the results. It’s looking very positive,” concludes Joseph. 

The Book Bus is keen to include more children on this reading programme and also introduce a 2nd phase to continue to provide reading support to the children that have successfully completed phase 1. 
Reading changes lives  

Get more children reading 

The Book Bus is a UK based charity and is entirely funded by the generosity of our donors. We want to expand this high-impact reading programme to: 

  • double the number of children on the programme 
  • employ an additional Reading Champion 
  • introduce a comprehensive reading scheme that will support children from early readers through to becoming confident readers. 

Can you help more children read and enjoy the powerful world of books?   Donate at