Manchester Central Library Development trust has secured £8,000 to support an initiative that aims to reflect the city’s diverse communities and, ensure all can experience the benefits of reading.
The Central Library Development Trust raises funds to support the educational, cultural and archives work of Manchester Libraries. The grant will help Manchester’s Libraries and Read Manchester gift over 1,000 brand new dual language books for children and young people across the city.
The books will be distributed all over Manchester, with specific focus on wards with large ethnically diverse populations such as Harpurhey, Longsight and Gorton.
The new dual language books will demonstrate the importance of diversity in reading and illustration and how important it is for children to see themselves and the languages that they speak, reflected in the books they read.
In tandem with this, the Manchester Central Library Development Trust are working closely with existing and new distribution partner organisations such as community groups and grocers, youth clubs, food banks, health organisations, refugee groups and homeless refuges, to distribute the books and build on the programme.
Councillor John Hacking, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, said:
“This new dual language initiative is a great way to encourage young people and children to read books written in different languages. It also allows parents to help educate their children in their mother tongue and connects them to their cultural heritage.
“It’s great that the Trust have been able to secure such a large amount of funding for the project and I’m sure many residents across the city will benefit from the scheme.”
Brendan O’Shea, the Chair of the Manchester Central Library Development Trust, said:
“We are extremely grateful to The Community Fund and the We Love Manchester charity for these generous grants that will boost the book gifting programme.
“The new initiative will also provide opportunities to signpost families to public libraries where there is an enhanced offer of books in community languages and support for the whole family in terms of free access to books, computers and activities.”