Book Talk is a not for profit community interest company which supports children’s reading for pleasure. Book Talk’s founding director, Katy Donnelly, is passionate about the wider benefits of reading for pleasure, particularly for children.
Whether it is in terms of the academic benefits, a wider knowledge of the world, or the protective effect in terms of social and mental wellbeing, the evidence base for supporting reading for pleasure is strong. Book Talk is about finding ways to engage all children in reading for pleasure in the belief that it is one of the most effective ways to leverage social change.
The idea for Book Talk has grown out of running children’s book clubs in a local bookshop and supporting author visits into schools. While some children have the support and resources within their schools and families to access a rich range of books and book related activities, there are also many children that simply don’t. Book Talk’s objective is to ensure that more children can access those opportunities.
Initially this will be though consultancy work with other organisations. The aim is to move on to projects supported through conventional fundraising and grant applications, but also through income generated by trading as a social enterprise – at present Book Club is set up as an affiliate on Bookshop.org, so please do buy books through the links on our site. We get a small commission and Bookshop.org also support independent bookshops through sharing its profits. In the longer term we are hoping to offer a book subscription service.
The initial focus is local (South East London) but we are looking to develop models that can be transferred and grow. If you have a project you need support getting of the ground or delivering – get in touch.
Our priorities are:
- to facilitate activities that support children’s reading for pleasure and engagement with books where there is plenty of book talk and children make connections with their own experiences and develop their own identities as readers.
- to support teachers and other adults as key facilitators of children’s reading by ensuring that their knowledge of children’s literature is current and that they have access to materials and activities they can use to support reading for pleasure.
More about Katy
I have always been a bookworm and would dearly love to find a way of saying “don’t talk to me, I’m reading” without seeming rude.
I have run a number of children’s book clubs for primary age children and I am experienced at supporting author visits and events. I am the South East Regional Manager for Book Clubs in Schools which delivers peer led book clubs in secondary schools. I do training for book club leaders, write book club guides and support schools in delivering the programme. I am also their safeguarding lead. As a volunteer, I have supported the development of a school library and a reading partners project in a primary school.
I have an MA in Children’s Literature and have I have been involved in the education sector for a number of years. I have been a Chair of Governors of an all age special school since 2010 and have also held governance roles in further and higher education and as an elected member with responsibility for children’s services in local government. My background is in public sector consultancy with extensive experience of working with local government and health particularly around issues of social exclusion and partnership working with local organisations.