National Young Readers' Programme

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The National Young Readers’ Programme (NYRP and formerly Reading Is Fundamental, UK) is the national programme that the National Literacy Trust uses to motivate disadvantaged children and young people to read for pleasure.


The National Young Readers’ Programme (NYRP) was established as an initiative of the National Literacy Trust in 1996. Based on the model of Reading Is Fundamental, Inc, active in the US since 1966, it was known as Reading Is Fundamental, UK until 2009.

The programme was initially funded as a three-year pilot using a grant from Tate and Lyle. The earliest projects involved just 12 primary schools across the UK, but within five years the scheme was reaching an average of 20,000 children at up to 300 sites every year. To date, more than 935,000 books have been chosen by over 315,000 children.

How it works

NYRP trains and supports teachers, librarians, community workers and others to coordinate local literacy projects that promote the fun of reading, the importance of book choice and the benefits of families sharing books at home. Local coordinators' feedback is extremely positive, endorsing NYRP's success in motivating children to read.

NYRP promotes a love of reading among children and young people (0-19) in areas of disadvantage and gives them the chance to choose and keep three free books at fun and inspiring events. The NYRP also helps children and young people to acquire the skills they need to develop as a reader, from knowing how to choose a book that engages them, to where they can find books once the project is over.

Case study

NYRP organised an event in Greenwich organised by the local Early Years Librarian on world book day.

The event began with arts and crafts activities, a rhyme time session featuring Brer Rabbit, refreshments and a book distribution. This was the third of three events.

The library would expect an increase in footfall from this target group but this has not yet been measured. In previous similar projects, 92% of librarians said library usage increased from the target group.


• 60 children (0-4)

• 50 parents and carers (including 3 grandparents, 6 fathers and several child minders)

• The group was made up of parents/carers and toddlers from a range of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds

• All attendees enjoyed complementary refreshments

• 60 children’s books were chosen and taken home to keep (in addition to 120 books previously distributed)

• 3 volunteers for the corporate partner attended and served refreshments

• Library sign up was available but most people had taken advantage of this at previous events.

National Young Readers' Programme website

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