Penguin Random House pairs up with Save the Children in global book donation effort
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Penguin Random House pairs up with Save the Children in global book donation effort

Penguin Random House pairs up with Save the Children in global book donation effort

by Freya Lucas

May 15, 2023

Publisher Penguin Random House has made an ‘unprecedented’ book donation to long-standing partner Save the Children to help spread the joy of reading to children everywhere.


The historic donation is the largest global book donation in Save the Children’s history and will provide more than one million books to children across the globe over three years.


“Even before the pandemic, nearly 400 million children worldwide could not read or write,” said Luciana Bonifacio, Chief Development Officer of Save the Children US. “It is even more urgent now amid compounding global crises that children all over the world return to learning and are able to read to help them reach their full potential.”


According to UNESCO, 244 million children did not attend school in 2022 and by 2030, the organisation predicts that 20 per cent of young people and 30 per cent of adults will be unable to read.


The new partnership with Save the Children will help to combat the global education crisis by providing age-appropriate books that support children’s literacy skill development and ensure they have opportunities to learn both inside their schools and within their communities.


Save the Children programs that have been or will be supported by Penguin Random House’s book donation so far include:


  • Early Steps to School Success’, which provides support to early childhood development services to children aged birth to five years of age and their families in under-resourced communities, and Head Start programs across rural America
  • Indigenous-led literacy initiatives in communities across Canada
  • Safe spaces where children and families participate in educational activities, play games and receive support for physical or mental health concerns in Jiangna Township, China
  • Elementary schools in four regions of Germany, including Berlin and Brandenburg
  • Inclusive learning environments in India, including, but not limited to, school libraries, district education and training facilities, mobile learning centers and evening education support centers for young adults
  • Early childhood centers in Mexico City
  • Early childhood development centers in a South African province damaged by severe flooding in 2022
  • Primary schools within low income-communities across the U.K., including England and Wales, as well as in partnership with a local book project in rural Scotland.


“Save the Children is one of our most beloved partnerships,” said Claire von Schilling, EVP and Director of Corporate Communications and Social Responsibility, Penguin Random House.


“As an organisation, [its] unparalleled access to and nuanced understanding of communities around the world have helped us reach more children with our books than ever before,” she added. 


“A global donation of this scale requires masterful on-the-ground coordination across both organisations’ territories and local offices, and I am so thankful to our Save the Children partners and Penguin Random House publishers around the world who have worked tirelessly to make this happen. Together, we can and will continue to change children’s lives through the magic of reading.”


“We’re so grateful to Penguin Random House for taking direct action to help solve the global literacy crisis,” a Save the Children representative said. 


“Books open up limitless potential, helping children learn, imagine and grow.”

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