Valerie Champions World Book Day 2023

Rt Hon Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I visited Old Church C of E Primary on Friday 3 March to present the school with the books which I collected from the Publishers Association and we placed them in the School Library which is a wonderful converted Bus. 

On World Book Day every child in Walsall South is given a £1 book token and Children and families can swap their £1 World Book Day Token for one of a wide range of World Book Day books at their local bookshop or supermarket from 16 February and 26 March 2023.

I am concerned that reading for pleasure is at its lowest levels in 18 years and many children have limited access to books as research has shown that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success.

500,000 (1 in 15) children in England aged 8 – 18 say they do not own a single book, which is 1 in 10 for those eligible for Free School Meals and 1 in 5 pupils receiving Free School Meals said that the book they ‘bought’ with their World Book Day book token was the first book of their own. 

I tabled an Early Day Motion which draws Parliament’s attention to World Book Day 2023 and has been signed by a cross party group MPs.

It is a pleasure to support World Book Day but every day should be World Book Day.”

Full Text of my Early Day Motion 900, dated 24 February 2023:

“That this House supports World Book Day in its mission to promote reading for pleasure; commends this success in distributing 50 million book tokens annually to children; with a further 101,000 books donated to children by publishers, the Arts Council and others; notes reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success; further notes with concern that reading for pleasure is at its lowest level since 2005, with fewer than one in two children and young people aged nine to 18 saying they enjoyed reading; recognises the importance of children from all backgrounds having the opportunity to choose and own a book; calls on all Members of the House to be reading champions for their constituencies; and warmly welcomes World Book Day’s celebration in schools and homes across the United Kingdom on 2 March 2023.”

Photo attached of Old Church C of E Primary children in the bus.