Tonia Antoniazzi MP for Gower, celebrated the importance of reading for pleasure on World Book Day.
Every year, World Book Day creates bespoke £1 books for children and young adults across the UK and Ireland, to promote the power of imagination and the importance of reading.
Through World Book Day, every child in Gower is given a £1 book token, which they can take to a bookshop or supermarket to get their free World Book Day book.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP joined a Parliamentary drop-in to champion reading for pleasure in Gower.
They are calling on teachers, carers, and parents to ensure that reading for pleasure is encouraged as much as reading attainment.
While reading was the only core subject which saw attainment levels improve in 20224, the number of children who say they enjoy it is in serious decline.
Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success–more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income.
However, reading for pleasure is at its lowest levels in 18 years and many children have limited access to books.
500,000 (one in 15) children in England aged 8–18 say they don’t own a single book, which rises to one in 10 for those eligible for Free School Meals.
One in five pupils receiving Free School Meals said that the book they ‘bought’ with their World Book Day book token was the first book of their own.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said, “It is a pleasure to support World Book Day. It is so important that every child and young adult in Gower has the opportunity to have a book of their own that they have chosen for themselves–and I am delighted to celebrate my own love of reading through the World Book Day campaign."