At Pearson, we set out to reach people, wherever they might be in the world, to help them make progress in their lives through learning. Our scale means we can do more than producing good products, serving customers well and generating strong growth - we believe we have wider responsibilities too. We take seriously our role in educating children, reporting the news and informing the public debate, and we believe Pearson has a unique role to play in raising literacy levels.
We founded Booktime in partnership with Booktrust in 2006, after colleagues at the London offices of the Financial Times formed a reading partnership with local schools in Southwark. Working closely with Booktrust to develop the scheme, Pearson joined forces with the Department of Education in England with the aim of delivering a universal bookgifting programme for children starting school all over the country. People from all parts of Pearson play a role - designing the special Booktime editions of the books; asking the wonderful authors to waive their royalties and donate their time; organising the bookpack deliveries throughout England and Northern Ireland; and reading with a child each week during term-time through an organised Booktime volunteer reading programme.
One in five adults - or nearly 800 million people worldwide - cannot read. But that gift of reading has a profound influence on modern life: from how we perform at school to the kind of job we can find, to our participation in society and our local community. For a business built on the premise that people want to read, learn and enjoy doing it, we have a keen interest in doing all we can to nurture enthusiastic readers.
Head of corporate responsibility, Pearson