Getting Kids Reading, Kid's Literacy Charity, The Tidy Books Story

How one school transformed kid’s books from boring to fun


“I love reading now, as we have a space that is clean and organised and many new books to enjoy!”  – Amine, Year 6.

It’s not much fun trying to get into a book in a busy, uncomfortable space. That’s what primary school teacher, Clare Taylor recognised, and she set out to create a reading haven for her pupils to make reading exciting again. Working together with charity Give A Book, they built a school library and restocked it with compelling new titles.   

At Tidy Books, we’re proud to support Give A Book with our monthly book drops at our offices, where we collect quality, pre-owned kid’s books to donate to Give A Book. Guest blogger, Adeela Khan of Give A Book talks about the magic created when Ashburnham Community School got a new library.


© Gareth Bevan Photography for Beanstalk

Give a Book is a UK based charity that started in 2011 with the sole aim of giving books where they will be of particular benefit. Our core belief is that to pass on a good read-to give someone a book-is a transaction of worth. We provide practical solutions to help disadvantaged people in local areas by working with schools, the local community and partnering with other organisations to provide books to encourage an enjoyment of reading.

Our books go directly to schools and a range of charities, including: Age UK, First Story, Maggie’s Centres, Nexus Fostering & Reading Ahead (formerly Six Book Challenge).

One of our newer projects has been the Ashburnham Community School library.

Last year we were put in touch with Ashburnham Community Primary School. We met Clare Taylor, Senior Teacher, who said that the one thing that would really transform the life of the school would be to have a library. Clare told us that Reading for Pleasure was something that they were working really hard to embed within the curriculum. They were on a rapid journey to move from ‘Requiring Improvement’ to ‘Outstanding’, but wanted to give something to the children for all the hard work that they were putting into their learning.

For space they had a bit of corridor, for books just a few old and uninviting ones.

Thanks to our brilliant supporters we were able to help not only build a new library through wonderful FG Library, to restock the non-fiction library thanks to Jubilee Books, but also introduced the school to their local Schools Library Service to help organise the books they had.

Clare said: “The library is now a haven that the children thoroughly enjoy using. The children are now able to sit with friends and enjoy reading. They also look forward to visiting now and want to show visitors to it.”


© Gareth Bevan Photography for Beanstalk

So here we introduce to the world the new Ash Library, the beating heart of a now Outstanding school.

“The new library is an inviting place for all the children and a wonderful space for small groups to read together. The ‘snuggle pod’ is a particular favourite of the children, as they love cozying up in there with a friend and a book.” – Amanda Douglas. Y4 teacher

“The new library is a breath of fresh air for our school! It is impossible not to notice just how inspired the children are to spend time there now… They love choosing books and I often see them finding a quiet spot to read. Thank you for the transformation!” – Sophie DeMenthon. Yr5 teacher

“I like it because it is fun, much more modern and more organised.” – Issac Yr 4

“It’s new, it’s nice and it has new cushions and it is a relaxing space.” – Youseph Yr 4

As soon as the new Library was completed at Ashburnham, the children in Year 6 took full ownership of it and revelled in the opportunity to use and enjoy it. Every day, children ask me if they can go to the library with such excitement, either to choose a new book (from the immaculately ordered shelves) or to read quietly in it. I have noticed a great improvement in children taking pride in their Reading Records as a result, since their choice of books has widened so much. We cannot thank Miss Taylor enough for all she has done!” – Miss Blackshaw, Y 6 Class Teacher

“I love reading now, as we have a space that is clean and organised and many new books to enjoy!” – Amine Y6

“The library has invigorated my child’s passion for reading, so thank you!” – Parent of Y4 child

You can find out more about Give A Book’s work on their website.

If you have quality children’s books that you can donate, Tidy Books hosts a regular book drop at our offices at 10 Hatherley Mews,  Walthamstow, E17 4QP  on the first Friday of every month.  Drop by and say hello!

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