Business Charity Awards: Charity Partnership, Media and Entertainment – Penguin Books with the National Literary Trust for Puffin World of Stories

For an outstanding partnership between a company in the media and entertainment sectors and a UK charity

What was the partnership?

Puffin, the children's arm of the UK's largest publisher, Penguin, partnered with the UK's leading literacy charity, the National Literacy Trust, to pilot Puffin World of Stories, a new approach to transforming school libraries across the UK.

What did it do?

The Puffin World of Stories project sought to develop a love of reading in primary schools around the UK by equipping teachers with the necessary skills to boost reading for pleasure. It included training days run by a former librarian, advice on how to organise a school library, improving knowledge of children’s books and creating a reading-for-pleasure strategy that involved pupils, parents and teachers. The programme was entirely funded by Penguin, including the donation of 29,000 books and the covering of NLT’s programme costs, and the project focused on areas where the need was greatest, with 100 per cent of participating schools supporting a higher-than-average percentage of pupils receiving free school meals.

Why did it win?

The partnership saw 29,000 books donated to 58 UK schools, and 101 teachers participated in training. Focus groups with teachers and pupils found that 100 per cent of teachers felt better equipped to develop reading communities, and the reading-for-pleasure promotion has increased from 38 per cent to 94 per cent across schools. A total of 14,500 pupils were reached by the project, and 500 Penguin colleagues visited participating schools as part of its annual charity walk to directly experience the project’s impact.

What did the judges say?

“This is a strategic partnership at its best, simultaneously impactful and directly driving each other’s business goals,” said Nick Scott, head of partnerships at War Child. “I really loved the additional activity, which involved providing training and experience to teachers, pupils and Puffin staff. This not only fosters a sense of pride on both sides of the partnership, but it also makes for fantastic stories.”


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