BookTrust NI Partnerships

BookTrust NI is very proud to work in partnership with local companies and organisations to help deliver our work of getting children reading. We are incredibly grateful to all of our supporters. Their generous commitment of time and money help us ensure that nobody misses out on the life-changing benefits that reading can bring. 

SONI and BookTrust NI in partnership

The partnership was established in September 2016. Removing barriers to education is a core focus of SONI's community investment strategy. In order to promote literacy, SONI and BookTrust NI established a mutually beneficial partnership to encourage early book sharing and a love of reading in the communities where SONI is working.

The partnership's proven and successful projects provide books and reading packs at crucial stages in a child's life with the purpose of promoting literacy from an early age. This coupled with interactive author and literary experiences, help to inspire a lifelong love of reading.

Most recently SONI provided carefully chosen books and packs through BookTrust NI, to every child in Kells and Connor Primary School, Kells and Connor Pre-School and The Country Pre-School Ballymena. These books and packs encouraged and supported families to enjoy reading with their children and to develop a regular shared reading habit. Investment Programme funding from Arts and Business NI enabled us to extend the scope and reach of the partnership and also encourage teens to continue their reading for pleasure journey. We visited four secondary schools in South Armagh with author Dan Freedman who shared inspirational stories of his life as a football journalist and author. This year was especially challenging for children due to the pandemic. We were delighted to provide further support to the pre-schools in Kells, giving every child a new book pack to take home just before Christmas.

"Our partnership with BookTrust NI continues to go from strength to strength. The author visits with Dan Freedman helped to inspire secondary and grammar school students across South Armagh to embrace reading, whilst also facilitating our own employee engagement through the involvement of SONI staff members. In Kells, the provision of book packs to pre-school and primary school children has a positive impact at community level through both promoting early years literacy, and also helping to create positive awareness of our brand. We look forward to continued success for the partnership throughout 2021 when reading and escapism take on an increased importance in light of the current COVID environment." Alan Campbell, Interim MD SONI
"BookTrust NI is very proud of our partnership with SONI. The partnership's proven and successful projects promote literacy from an early age and help to inspire a lifelong love of reading. SONI have continually been great supporters and advocators of BookTrust's work, even beyond our partnership projects, raising awareness of our campaigns and highlighting the importance of reading for pleasure at every opportunity. They are a fantastic partner to work with and we look forward to reaching more communities and getting even more children reading in the years to come." - Chris Eisenstadt, Director BookTrust Northern Ireland

Belfast Book Festival and BookTrust NI in Partnership

Following our successful outreach and events in 2019 BookTrust was delighted to continue our work with the Belfast Book Festival as the dedicated Children's Partner, encouraging children and families in Northern Ireland to read for pleasure.

In line with BookTrust's strategic aim of promoting diversity in children's literature, 2021's project focused on an author and books that reflect the diverse society in which we live.

We welcomed multi-award-winning children's author and poet Joseph Coelho to a virtual visit with Fane Street Primary in Belfast and a pre-recorded family event as part of the festival programme.

Joseph delivered a series of activities with the school; he produced a pre-recorded online session for the school to use; held live Q&A sessions with four classes which were fantastic opportunities for the pupils to interact with Joseph himself and ask him questions; and we also ran a Poetry Competition for which Joseph was the judge!

As part of this partnership, every child in the school and nursery received an age-appropriate signed copy of one of Joseph's books to take home and enjoy with their families. We also provided additional books for the winners of the poetry competition and selection of Joseph's books for the school library.

"The event worked well and made reading more immediate and engaging. The children loved receiving a book and interacting with the author and many of them reported they read the book at home. It helped the children realise that anyone can be an author." - Sam Howorth, Newcomer Coordinator, Fane St Primary School
"It was cool because it was the first time I ever saw an author!" - Abdullah P5

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