Your purchases helped refresh and diversify the selection of the Coulsdon Oasis Academy Library, providing hundreds of kids with awesome books to fall in love with reading and improve their literacy skills.
The Coulsdon Oasis Academy didn’t use to have a library. When the building was designed, the expectation was that pupils would move towards digital mediums to read books, but when Mr Gourd, the new head of English took over, he was shocked to find children didn’t have a space dedicated to the love of reading.
Fast forward a couple of years and now Coulsdon Oasis had a functional library with reference books, and some for younger children, but very few options that would appeal to their students, books they could see themselves in and feel compelled to pick up and take home.
Their librarian got in touch with us and together we were able to come up with a list of books that would suit their needs, and so we donated over 400 books to the school including class sets. Our donation helped with diversifying their book selection as we hand-picked 100 titles to cater for their specific needs including black history and geography.
The current head of English, Mr J O’Shea said about their commitment with literacy: “Every time we ask a student to read, write or speak we are modelling the very highest standards in literacy in the classroom.
Encouraging a love for engagement with texts and a reading culture at home may be one of the best gifts that can ever be bestowed on the next generation.
THANK YOU AwesomeBooks for your amazing contribution to our resources and the development of literacy and the love of reading at Oasis Coulsdon!”
See the pictures of the library transformation that you enabled below!
“Over the summer of 2019 we had a new purpose built library” Pictures courtesy of Coulsdon Oasis Academy
The Awesome Books that arrived in Coulsdon Oasis Academy are being enjoyed by their hundreds of students
Every time you buy a book from us we donate a book to someone who doesn’t have one, so every time you choose to buy from AwesomeBooks, you are making an impact in someone else’s life.
Almost 400,000 children in the UK do not own a book, and the proportion of children without books is increasing. It now sits at one in three, when in 2005 the number was closer to 1 in 10.
Studies show that children with their own books are more likely to be above-average readers and do better at school. Meanwhile children without books are more likely to live in poverty.
At Awesomebooks we are committed to working with schools, communities and partners around the world to give people access to the resources they need to develop the literacy skills that will enable them to write a brighter new chapter in their lives.
Here are just a few of those stories:
ABC To Read:
“Thank you to Awesome Books for the wonderful donation of books that we will be able to use with struggling readers in schools this year. The additional books means that our volunteers will be able to mentor children at a safe distance by having a book each. Children’s reading will have fallen further behind during the pandemic and so it is vital that our services are able to continue. Donations such as these are so important for charities to be able to continue.”
Marcia Rowlinson ABC To Read CEO
Coulsdon Oasis Academy
Every time we ask a student to read, write or speak we are modelling the very highest standards in literacy in the classroom.
Encouraging a love for engagement with texts and a reading culture at home may be one of the best gifts that can ever be bestowed on the next generation.
THANK YOU Awesome Books for your amazing contribution to our resources and the development of literacy and the love of reading at Oasis Coulsdon! ☺
Director of English Department Mr J O’Shea
Books for Africa — Kenya:
“The collection from London offered us a great deal of different books, not to mention the huge number of books per container. We created about 400 libraries from it!”
At AwesomeBooks we work to stop books being thrown away. We create ways to collect books that people no longer want, selling them to our customers around the world and donating them to literacy programs we work with.
It is our mission to champion a different model of retailing – circular economy retailing – positively contributing to sustainability and literacy, driven by a passion for books. So when you buy from AwesomeBooks.com, we help you make an impact with every book.
Leading children’s literacy charity, UK Reads, has partnered with circular economy bookseller AwesomeBooks to tackle the literacy gap by providing more than 30,000 free books to schools in disadvantaged communities.
Reading for pleasure is the single biggest factor in determining a child’s future success, but there are currently more than 413,000 children in the UK who do not own a single book of their own. UK Reads are on a mission to ensure every child in the UK has access to free books and literacy support, and today they are calling for teachers and youth organisations to request free books for children living in poverty in their communities.
All UK schools can request free books from UK Reads for children without access to their own books, which will be supplied by Awesome Books. Over the past year Awesome Books has been working with UK Reads to donate more than 14,000 books for disadvantaged communities, and have now extended this partnership to pledge 30,000 high quality, pre-loved books to be distributed amongst disadvantaged pupils in 2022.
AwesomeBooks, one of the UK’s biggest online new and used book retailers, has a unique circular business model of sustainable bookselling centred around reuse, which means that no book is ever thrown away. Driven by a commitment to sustainability and literacy, the company collects books destined for landfill and repurposes high quality copies by reselling them or donating them to improve access to books and promote literacy.
Annie Ashford-Barnden, Program Director for UK Reads said: “Since UK Reads launched in November 2020, we have given over 13,000 books to children across the UK. This year, we want to distribute 30,000 books to help bridge the widening literacy gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, which has been exacerbated by the Covid 19.”
Simon Mackay, Head of Books at AwesomeBooks, said: “Our team at AwesomeBooks is committed to collaboratingwith schools, communities and partners around the world to improve access to books, and to give people the literacy skills they need to succeed in life. Ensuring that no book ever goes to waste and every single book makes an impact, we are thrilled to be working with UK Reads, delivering pre-loved books into the hands of children and communities most impacted by the pandemic.”
Sarah Turner, aka The Unmumsy Mum, and UK Reads Ambassador, said: “As a mum to three boys who love stories, I find it hard to imagine a home without books yet sadly that is the reality for many children in the UK. I am proud to be involved with this wonderful campaign to get free books to children who need them most.”
Jon James, Assistant Headteacher at a London school, said: “The books from UK Reads have helped significantly with providing our most vulnerable pupils with additional reading materials to support their learning and foster love for reading. Many of our pupils have struggled to access online books or, due to self-isolating, have not been able to access libraries. Therefore, being able to provide them with additional books has helped immeasurably.”
Jo Stroud, Head Teacher at a Peterborough school, said: “For a child to be given a book that belongs to them will impact on their self esteem and self worth. It will also encourage children to read within the home, helping bring families together to have a story time, and allow children to practice their own reading skills.”
Hannah Wooldridge, Librarian at Cranbrook Campus, says: “By UK Reads providing books that pupils can take home as their own, it will hopefully give them an experience of ownership, not just of books themselves but of the whole reading process. Together we are sending the message that books and reading are for everyone and that nobody should be without them.”
Your support enabled us to donate 25K books and support the global efforts to see Samir Mansour’s bookshop doors open once again.
Samir Mansour’s bookshop used to be a cultural hub in Gaza city, which is why when it was destroyed due to the ongoing conflict, the loss for the community was incalculable. It once housed over 90K books, and on May 2021, it ceased to exist.
In the middle of the tragedy, a spark of hope was ignited when the news started to spread and soon after hundreds if not thousands of people around the world had come together to offer help.
In the UK, the efforts to support Samir garnered an awesome 150,000+ books, (your purchases contributed 25,000+ of those!), but the challenge then was how to make sure they reached their destination safely. This is where we knew we could make the biggest impact. “With a dedicated warehouse and book collection capabilities already in place, AwesomeBooks was perfectly positioned to manage the thousands of book donations from people and businesses from all over the UK”, CEO and AwesomeBooks co-founder Taskeen Ahmed said. Your support allowed us to put our resources and experience in handling large scale donations at the service of this cause.
Our head of impact Sannah Maan worked closely with activists across the country to coordinate the collection, storage and organisation of the donations, so what started with an appeal for help in May 2021, materialised as shelves full of books the people of Gaza now have access to.
Mahvish Rukshana, organiser of the book appeal in the UK said “the success of this project is a testament to the good in humanity”, a sentiment echoed by all of us in AwesomeBooks, and booklovers everywhere, no doubt.
Every time you buy a book, you make an impact. This time, it was all the way in Ghana!
We were approached by BooksForAfrica who were working with schools in Ghana to help them get the books they need to support their students.
Currently over 20% of the Ghanian population struggles to read or write, and even though literacy rates across the country have improved significantly in recent years, there is more that can be done. We hope this donation will contribute towards shrinking the gap even further, because we believe literacy is the key to empowerment, and having access to a well-stocked library is the first step towards experiencing the life-changing power of books.
Unfortunately, many schools don’t count with the resources necessary to meet their students’ needs. In the Ashanti region, almost 30% of children in school age have no books at home, and have never taken a book home from school. What’s more, overall, just over 20% of children are read books on a regular basis. We think children having access to books shouldn’t be a privilege but a right, so we prepared a container of 50,000 books to cover the school’s requirements.
This included some of the following categories:
0-5 year children books to encourage early reading habits. Sensory simulating books are especially sought after as texture and touch are universal languages.
Teen fiction titles for older children (secondary school)
Encyclopedias to provide reference material to help with studies and general learning.
Secondary school textbooks/exam guides to help school specific topics.
Popular Fiction for older students and adults who access school or community libraries.
The project took several weeks of careful planning to coordinate the operation on both ends, not to mention the manpower needed to select and carefully pack the books so they arrived in top condition to their destination. The shipment had to travel by sea, so a container was loaded into a cargo vessel that set sail from the South East coast of the UK.
It’s hearing that our books have found a home where they can make an impact which energises us, as literacy is at the core of everything we do.
Thanks to our wonderful customers for making this possible, when you choose AwesomeBooks, you make an impact with every book you buy!
We have compiled a quick guide to help you set and achieve your reading goals this year! tell us in the comments, what other tips would you ad to the list?
Set measurable goals
If thinking in terms of how many books you can read feels a bit excessive, think of chapters, or pages read instead! The smaller goals are easier to reach and ticking those off the list will give you the encouragement you need to breeze through hundreds of awesome books.
Today we have an awesome guest takeover of our blog —Christiane Bellstedt Myers, author of Scandi Christmas brings us one of her amazing Christmas projects to make your decorations even more special.
Don’t forget to share your creations with us through social media!
Without further ado, let’s get to crafting!
Glitter Paper Trees by Christiane Bellstedt Myers
There is something special about being able to create a stunning centerpiece for your Christmas table without spending a lot of money. Adding a pinch of glitter reflects the light, making your table shimmer and feel magical and festive. Make a large tree or several smaller ones—or whatever combination works best for you!
Terra cotta plant pot (I used an antique terra cotta pot but any = would work)
Paper (preferably old newspaper with a Christmas story or old sheet music)
White craft (PVA) glue
Star cookie cutter
How to make your Glitter Paper Tree
Use a craft knife to cut a piece of oasis from the block. Make sure that the oasis fits into the plant pot snugly. Push a wooden skewer vertically into the center of the oasis, with the pointed end at the top. You may want to trim the wooden skewer, depending on the size of your pot.
Take your paper in bunches of three or four pages and rip them into squares of varying sizes. There is no need to be precise; it is actually much cuter when the edges of the paper are not straight.
Start pushing your bundles of paper onto the skewer. Turn the pot slightly as you add more paper bundles so that the edges of the paper are not all lined up evenly. You want to gradually decrease the size of the torn squares to resemble the shape of a tree.
Take a small paintbrush and use it to spread glue on the edges of the paper. Sprinkle with as much silver glitter as you want! (Do this over a piece of old newspaper so you can catch and reuse the excess glitter.)
Use a cookie cutter or draw and cut out two star shapes.
Apply some glue on one star and press the other star onto it with the tip of the skewer sandwiched in the middle. Use the clothespin to hold the star in place while the glue dries; remove when the glue is dry. Paint the star with a little more glue and sprinkle with glitter to finish.
If you want to see more of Christine’s wonderful ideas, don’t hesitate to check out Scandi Christmas!
We hope you have fun making some awesome paper trees to decorate this festive season!
Your purchases make an impact: this time it was all the way in Syria. Over the last year we were able to sponsor 7 children and a family that, like thousands, have been displaced due to the ongoing crisis.
Thanks to your support, we partnered with UK-Based Syrian Relief to provide them with food, shelter and education aids. We believe literacy is the stepping stone upon which a successful and fulfilling life is built, but we understand that in some cases, facilitating it encompasses more than just giving books to those who need them: sometimes other needs have to be addressed first, which is why we thought this was an awesome project to support.
Meet some of the kids that, thanks to you, received the help they needed to write the first chapter of what will be an awesome future.
Stay tuned to get to know more of how you make an impact with every book