Jack Brereton MP met with staff and students at Trentham Academy’s Community Learning Centre this afternoon and awarded 30 eReaders to the centre, gifted by global digital reading retailer Rakuten Kobo, to promote access to reading and learning in Stoke-on-Trent South. Read coverage of the visit in the Stoke Sentinel here.
The eReaders were awarded by Mr Brereton and donated by Rakuten Kobo as part of the Axe the Reading Tax Campaign.
Jack Brereton MP for Stoke-on-Trent South said:
"I am delighted to award these Kobo eReaders to Trentham Community Learning Centre today to get Stoke-on-Trent South reading and support this fantastic centre, which provides a vital service for the community. I am also delighted to award these devices in the week the Government announced it will Axe the Reading Tax on digital publications, removing the 20% tax barrier to childhood literacy".
Mike Whittingham, Headteacher, Trentham Academy, said:
"We are delighted to have been awarded the eReaders. We are always looking for ways to encourage our students to develop a love of reading and as we are an iPad school, students are used to technological devices, and so eReaders are likely to be more appealing to students who are not inclined to read paper books".
Nick Coveney, Publisher Relations & Content Lead, Rakuten Kobo said:
“The mission of Rakuten Kobo has always been to allow our customers to read anything, at any time, on any device. With research from the National Literacy Trust showing 45% of children prefer to read on digital devices and that pupils on free school meals are more likely to read digitally it is vital that children have equal access to all forms of reading”.
Mr Brereton won the eReaders after attending a drop-in hosted by the Axe the Reading Tax Campaign to mark International Literacy Day last October. MPs who attended event entered a prize draw to win 30 Kobo eReaders, and £300 of gift vouchers to buy eBooks and audiobooks for an organisation in their constituency.
Research by the National Literacy Trust found that young people with low reading engagement are more likely than those with high reading engagement to consume reading materials on screen – potentially providing opportunities to better engage them with reading in the future. Pupils eligible for free school meals and boys with the lowest levels of reading engagement are two of the groups most likely to benefit from using digital formats: 24.3% of pupils on free school meals read fiction digitally compared to 16.3% of their peers who were not eligible for free school meals, while 1 in 4 disengaged boy readers said that they read fiction on screen compared to just 1 in 10 of their more engaged peers (25.4% vs 9.8%).