The campaign from the National Literacy Trust is aiming to ‘inspire’ children to continue reading over the Christmas holidays and beyond. According to research, children who own their own books are more likely to say they read every day and say that they enjoy reading.
The books, which were donated by the publisher HarperCollins, included Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, Paddington and the Christmas Surprise by Michael Bond and Father Christmas Heard a Parp by Olaf Falafel.
Stephanie Wood, manager of Get Blackpool Reading, said: “Pupils’ Christmas school lunches will be served with extra special trimmings this year as we know that children who have books of their own enjoy reading more, do better at school and are happier.
“We wish everyone in Blackpool a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and encourage all to borrow, buy or gift a book to start their own reading adventure this festive season and beyond.”
New research from the National Literacy Trust found that one in 11 children from disadvantaged backgrounds do not have a single book at home compared to one in 20 of their more financially advantaged peers.
Cllr Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care and Schools, added: “This initiative is an excellent way to share the joy of reading and to encourage children in Blackpool to keep reading during the Christmas holidays.
“Books bring families together and so with Christmas classics such as Grandpa Christmas and The Night Before Christmas, children can enjoy reading with their parents or older siblings and get into the festive spirit.
“Our Blackpool 30 reading challenge encourages everyone in Blackpool to read for 30 minutes a day for pleasure. We want people to discover the joy of reading, which is why we’re asking families to take part in our challenge.”