600 Newport Children Gifted Books By Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Literacy Trust In Drive To Boost Reading
Sir Lenny Henry’s first novel, The Boy With Wings, , will be flying home with 600 Year 5 and 6 pupils at ten schools in Newport on 3rd October, thanks to Enterprise and the National Literacy Trust who have joined forces for a second consecutive year to promote the benefits of reading.
The partnership aims to boost rates of reading for pleasure, which is linked to better attainment at school1, higher lifetime earning potential2 and better mental health3. Despite the clear benefits of reading, almost one in five (18.6%) children in England between the ages of five and eight do not have access to books at home4, according to recent research by the National Literacy Trust.
The books will arrive in schools at the start of UK Black History Month (1-31 October) which celebrates the accomplishments of Black Britons.
The National Literacy Trust has produced video resources and lesson plans featuring CBeebies star Joanna Adeyinka-Burton and Matilda The Musical actress Sienna Clarke to enable schools to delve deeper into the themes of diversity and inclusion that feature in the book.
The Boy With Wings, illustrated by Keenon Ferrell and published by Macmillan Children’s books, was chosen because it portrays important messages about race, inclusion and diversity wrapped up in an exciting and fun adventure. The book also includes an exclusive comic book created by Marvel artist, Mark Buckingham.
Sir Lenny Henry said he wrote The Boy With Wings because he didn’t see Black heroes in the books he read growing up, and wants all children to see themselves appear centre stage in exciting, inspiring stories where they have great adventures. Research by the National Literacy Trust found that 40% of children and young people from ethnic minority backgrounds say that they don’t see themselves in what they read5.
“I want to make sure as many kids as possible have access to books and this project brilliantly targets those kids who don’t have books at home,” said Sir Lenny. “Reading – with lots of trips to my local library in Dudley – was such an important part of my childhood, it took me on so many different adventures and to so many different worlds. Here’s to The Boy With Wings flying into homes across the UK thanks to the National Literacy Trust and Enterprise!”
Simon Caughey-Rogers, Enterprise’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Charity Events Manager said: “Enterprise firmly believes in expanding opportunity for everyone. This partnership provides an excellent way for us to support early childhood development through the power of reading. Too many children say that they don’t see themselves in what they read, especially those from Black ethnic backgrounds. It is our hope that this book helps inspire them and spark a lifelong interest in reading for pleasure, with all the fun and benefits that it can bring.”
Darranda Rowswell, Director of Development at the National Literacy Trust commented: “Creating a culture of reading for pleasure in schools is crucial to increasing literacy levels, which in turn gives children access to more opportunities throughout their lives. The Boy With Wings is an excellent choice of book for this project because Sir Lenny Henry’s story gives children of Black heritage the chance to see themselves and their lives in the books they read, as well as engaging children of all backgrounds in the adventures of Tunde. We’re so excited to see this partnership create a culture of reading and encouraging a love of stories that we hope will stay with children for the rest of their lives.”
Samantha Smith, Publisher, Fiction, Non-Fiction and Picture Books, Macmillan Children’s Books, says: “‘Macmillan Children’s Books is thrilled to be working with partners who are just as passionate as we are about spreading a love of reading and getting books into the hands of children across the UK. Lenny Henry’s exciting, adventurous and funny The Boy With Wings is the perfect read to encourage children to spread their wings.”
The Enterprise Holdings Foundation was established in 1982 to give back to the communities where partners and employees live and work.
The towns and cities receiving books from the partnership are: Liverpool, Manchester (City), Nottingham, Rochdale, Salford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bradford, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, Newport, Swindon, London borough of Southwark, London borough of Lambeth, London borough of Hackney, London borough of Enfield, London borough of Islington, Belfast and Lisburn.
The Boy With Wings: Story Outline
When Tunde Wilkinson sprouts wings, he learns he’s all that stands between Earth and total destruction, and suddenly school is the least of his problems. Luckily, his rag-tag group of pals have got his back, and with his new powers, Tunde is ready to fly in the face of danger.
· 1Books are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Earnings in Europe, by Giorgio Brunello, Guglielmo Weber, Christoph T. Weiss. First published in The Economic Journal 16 July 2015
Enterprise Holdings, Inc., manages the largest and most diverse privately-owned fleet in the world through an integrated network of more than 9,500 fully staffed neighbourhood and airport rental locations. This global network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchises also operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand – as well as the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands – in 90 countries and territories. Combined, Enterprise Holdings and its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management, which currently manage around 1.85 million vehicles and employ 80,000 worldwide, accounted for $23.9 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2021. In the UK, Enterprise has branches and vehicles within 10 miles of 93% of the UK population (Experian).
Enterprise provides a range of mobility products and services through:
· Enterprise Rent-A-Car – offers daily rental for private and business use as well as replacement vehicles for the insurance sector. In the UK, the company began operation in 1994 and now operates more than 450 locations across the country and has 5,000+ employees.
· Enterprise Car Club – is one of the UK’s largest car clubs, which allows members 24/7 access to vehicles by the hour or more. The range includes vans, electric cars and hybrids, which can be accessed from 100+ branches and more than 1,400 on-street locations in more than 180 cities and communities throughout the UK. Enterprise Car Club was named Mobility Provider of the Year in the 2018 Green Fleet awards.
· Enterprise Flex-E-Rent – supplies a range of cars, light commercial vehicles and HGVs, including refrigerated vehicles and accessible transport under short- and long-term agreements to UK businesses from 28 locations in the UK.
Our mission is to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of those who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life. We run Literacy Hubs and campaigns in communities where low levels of literacy and social mobility are seriously impacting people’s lives. We support schools and early years settings to deliver outstanding literacy provision, and we campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians, businesses and parents.
Our research and analysis make us the leading authority on literacy and drive our interventions. Literacy is a vital element of action against poverty and our work changes children and young people’s life stories. Our new site Words for Life provides simple, fun and educational activities for children and young people aged 0-24 to support learning at home and help them feel more confident.
Visit literacytrust.org.uk to find out more, donate or sign up for our free email newsletter. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Pan Macmillan
Pan Macmillan is the UK general book publishing arm of the Macmillan Group, which operates in over 70 countries. Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Bluebird, One Boat, Tor, Macmillan Children’s Books, Macmillan Collectors Library, Kingfisher, Campbell Books and Two Hoots. Pan Macmillan was named Publisher of the Year at The Bookseller Industry Awards in May 2015, May 2017 and again in June 2020.