McDonald’s hands out thousands of books on Croydon tour

Book North End: the McDonald’s event took over part of the Croydon shopping area at the end of August as part of its Happy Readers Book Tour

McDonald’s is set to donate thousands of books to children in Croydon as part of its national literacy campaign helping disadvantaged children across the country.

Croydon at the end of August was the first stop in a nationwide tour during which time, the burger chain business is reinforcing its status as the UK’s largest distributor of free children’s books.

According to the National Literacy Trust, as of 2022, 1 in 5 children across the country say they do not have access to a book of their own at home. The issue is considerably greater in young boys, with 21per cent without a book, compared to 16per cent of girls.

Mind time: McDonald’s has been handing out thousands of free books

One-third of parents say their child reads less outside of the school term and just 31per cent say reading plays a central role in their child’s daily routine.

McDonald’s recognises that a change as little as owning a book, can change a lot about a child’s future.

Research carried out on behalf of the burger chain shows that in London, 90per cent of parents believe reading is essential to their children’s academic development and for their emotional development too.

Almost one-third (32per cent) of parents in London say their children seem more imaginative and 54per cent say they seem more content and relaxed after reading or being read to.

Shockingly for Croydon, where the opening times of its public libraries have been significantly curtailed due to the local council’s financial collapse, 23per cent of parents in London say that they don’t use local free book services such as the library, with 52per cent of them saying they don’t have enough time to take their child.

Local franchisee Ian Stephenson joined McDonald’s crew on the Happy Readers Bus Tour, which visited Croydon as part of its 18-city national tour.

Reading time: McDonald’s ambassadors led reading sessions with children during the visit to Croydon

Ambassadors like Stephenson led book readings and distributed hundreds of books to children passing through. “It’s not nice to think that so many children are without books when the academic and emotional benefits of reading are so clear,” Stephenson said.

“I look forward to welcoming children and families to the restaurant and distributing books for them to enjoy.”

McDonald’s book donations include favourites such as Little People Big Dreams, Hair Love and The BFG. Books will be distributed via McDonald’s restaurants and charities such as National Literacy Trust, Children in Need, Homestart and The Raheem Sterling Foundation.

Vernon Kay has partnered with McDonald’s to help raise awareness for the importance of children’s literacy. He is creating a series of special readings of some of the books available for free this year, which will go live on the McDonald’s Family Hub in September.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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