Where Can I Get Funding For a Reading Club?
Hi, I'm a teacher and would love to set up a reading club in school.
Funding is really the fundamental issue. Do you have any ideas as to how I can get funding?
Setting up a book club actually involves minimal cost and can be done with very little financial outlay indeed. The main need for funding when starting a reading club is the use of a venue for meetings and the cost of books for members.
If the school is willing to lend an empty classroom for after-school use as a reading club meeting place – or perhaps allow use of the school library, this will take care of the first issue. Otherwise, many public libraries are happy for reading groups to meet in a corner and quietly hold discussions.
With regards to books, joining a public library (or use of a school library) is a free (or cheap) way to have access to books for use in the reading club. Many libraries are happy to help reading groups, such as sourcing multiple copies of the same title. Libraries provide members with a wider choice than is often possible with personal budgets in bookshops and they will also often provide recommendations of good books to read and discuss.
If you’re interested in funds to actually purchase books, there are organisations which may be able to help with funding for literacy initiatives. Many local councils are happy to help out in this regard and may even have schemes in place which support literacy ventures. Alternatively, the National Literacy Trust (NLT) is a great source of information and possible funding.
Launched in 1993, the NTL is an independent charity that promotes literacy in the UK, as 1 in 6 people in the UK find it difficult to read and write. This in turn leads to poor work and community skills which compromise people’s happiness, confidence and employability and ultimately has a negative effect on the UK economy. The NTL supports those who work with learners, through research, information and innovative programmes, and works together with many other organisations to promote literacy in the UK. They currently have several projects aimed at promoting literacy in different groups, plus they have a dedicated Reading Groups section on their website which contains resources to help those wanting to set up a book club. Visit www.literacytrust.org.uk and click on ‘Resources’ and then ‘Reading Groups & Individuals’.
Finally, don’t forget that parents of children may be more than happy to contribute towards a book club, as most will be keen to see their children improve their literacy.