Thousands of books will be given to children and young people visiting their parents in London prisons as part of World Book Day (Thursday 2 March 2017).
World Book Day will be working with all 13 of Her Majesties Prisons in Greater London. These include family Visitor Centres run by children’s charity Spurgeons, in HMP Belmarsh, Pentonville, Wormwood Scrubs, Wandsworth, Brixton and Feltham.
Thousands of the specially-published £1 World Book Day books, donated by publishers, will provide parents in prison the opportunity to read to their children. This will help to maintain family relationships which are key to the successful rehabilitation of many prisoners.
According to charities involved in working with children of prisoners, the 200,000 children and young people in the UK whose parents are in prison, are statistically, “more likely to go to prison than to university.” They are also twice as likely to suffer mental health problems as their peers.
Spurgeons believe it is crucial to support children and their families while they have a family member in prison, as this can help break the cycle of imprisonment.
Spurgeons CEO Ross Hendry, said: “Many people have fond memories of their parents reading to them as children, but this can often be missing in the lives of children whose parents are in prison. World Book Day’s initiative will not only help parents maintain a closer relationship with their children, it will also help to inspire a love of reading. This will help equip children with the essential skills needed to secure future employment.”
David Kendall, the reading engagement specialist leading the prisons initiative, said: “Sharing a book with a parent can be hugely important to a child’s experience of reading, and it’s something that children with a parent in the criminal justice system have less opportunity to do. Being able to work with World Book Day to ensure books are available to children and parents on World Book Day is fantastic, as it will help all families to feel included and show that reading is for everyone.”
More details about World Book Day can be found at www.worldbookday.com.