The children’s audio platform, Yoto, has detailed a new partnership with the children’s publisher, Puffin to support its Puffin World of Stories initiative and donate 90 Yoto Players, Card Cases and Card sets to primary schools across the country.
Run in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, Puffin World Stories inspires children to discover a love of reading by giving schools in disadvantaged communities the tools to reinvigorate their libraries and encourage reading for pleasure.
With the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic, the initiative has been deemed more important that ever in helping to counter the adverse impact Covid-19 has had on children’s education and their access to books, particularly for some of the most disadvantaged children in society.
2021 is the third year of the initiative, and adds another 85 schools to the programme. Puffin World of Stories will so far have worked with a total of 224 schools and 56,000 pupils by the end of this academic year. Since its launch, the initiative has gifted 41,700 brand new Puffin books (300 per school) and the initiative in 2021 adds a further 25,500 books to this total.
To date, Puffin World of Stories has also made almost 5,000 audiobooks available to schools, and is making a further 2,550 available this year.
The new partnership with Yoto adds further to this figure, enabling a new and portable way for children to enjoy audiobooks as part of their World of Stories reading space. Furthermore, recent research from the National Literacy Trust has found that the gap in reading enjoyment between boys and girls widened significantly over lockdown, and that audiobooks are an effective way to re-engage boys in stories.
Tom Austin, head of brand and social of Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Yoto to help children discover the magic of stories and inspire them to feel they can be or do anything.
“The players provide easier accessibility to stories for those children with lower literacy levels and other barriers to accessing resources.”
Fiona Evans, director of school programmes at the National Literacy Trust said: “Our research on audiobooks found that a third of young people felt better listening to audiobooks during the first lockdown.
“Audiobooks improve children’s enjoyment of reading and support their wellbeing so we are delighted that more children in the schools we work with will have the chance to listen to their favourite stories.”
Ben Drury, CEO and co-founder of Yoto, added: “We’re really pleased to be supporting this initiative with Puffin, it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring a world of audio to children through schools – helping inspire creativity and imagination.”