easyJet launches new initiative to encourage children to get into a good book by installing holiday reading libraries across its entire UK fleet this summer
· easyJet launches new initiative to encourage children to get into a good book by installing holiday reading libraries across its entire UK fleet this summer
· Campaign follows research by easyJet, which reveals that over 8 in 10 British parents(83%) say children are reading less in comparison to when they were younger
· Campaign ambassador and leading children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson has selected books for kids to enjoy in-flight
· Children’s classics including; Peter Pan,Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, The Railway Children and The Wizard of Oz, will be made available in passenger seat-pockets
· The easyJet Book Club will see seven thousand copies of the books take to the skies as 147 ‘Flybraries’ lift off today
· Statistics from the Department of Education show that one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11*
· Figures from the National Foundation of Education Research show most children in England do not read on a daily basis with just over a third (37%) of 10 year-olds surveyed reported reading for pleasure every day**
LONDON, Tuesday 18th July 2017: Europe’s leading airline easyJet have launched a new initiative today to launch ‘Flybraries’ (flying libraries) following new research that suggests that the number of children reading for pleasure is at an all-time low.
This summer easyJet will fly 750,000 families out of UK airports on their holidays. That means it has a unique opportunity to get kids hooked on a book while they’re on the plane.
Former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson, who is supporting the Flybrary campaign designed to promote literacy and encourage kids to read, has selected a range of classic children’s books to be stocked on board that encompass the spirit of travel and adventure. Dame Jacqueline unveiled her selection at the official launch of the Book Club at Gatwick Airport.
Seven thousand copies of children’s classics including Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, The Wizard Of Oz, and The Railway Children will be made available on easyJet’sUK fleet of 147 aircraft as the new holiday reading campaign takes flight today across European destinations for free. Kids can start reading them on the flight and then when they land download free samples of other classics to try, plus a sample of Wilson’s latest bestseller, Wave Me Goodbye, fromeasyjet.com/bookclub. Children will leave the books on board for the next passenger to enjoy.
Speaking at London Gatwick Airport where she launched the initiative, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, whose 106 children’s books have collectively sold over 40 million copies in the UK alone, said: “The long summer break is the ideal opportunity for children to get stuck into a great story. Books stimulate a child’s imagination and development. Reading soothes, entertains, grows vocabulary and exercises the mind and a flight is the perfect place to escape into a literary adventure. That’s why I think this campaign is such a clever match. I’ve chosen books that children might not have read, but are familiar with, maybe from film and television. I also wanted stories that would appeal equally to boys and girls.”
easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said: “This summer easyJet will transport three quarters of a million families from UK airports to popular holiday destinations across Europe – the largest number yet due to our range of parent-friendly initiatives to make it easier for parents and kids alike. The launch of our summer kids book club is another initiative designed to make flying with us more fun and help to get kids hooked on a book at the start of the holiday season at the same time. Our in-flight lending library means young passengers can pick up a brilliant book during their flight and then return it to the seat pocket at the end of the flight for the next customer to enjoy onboard. We think it will be popular with parents and children alike.”
The initiative follows research by easyJet who polled 2,000 British parents with children aged 8 - 12, which reveals that over 8 in 10 parents (83%) say children are reading less in comparison to when they were younger. The research reveals that kids are reading an average of three books over the course of their entire summer holidays, in contrast to an average of four books which their parents would have devoured at the same age - a drop of 25% over the course of a generation.
The study found that the majority of respondents (84%) agreed that people tended to read more for pleasure 25 years ago than they do today, due to us living in a fast moving digital world with endless entertainment options. The research reveals a seismic shift in reading across generations, with the decline in the number of books being read by children today attributed to the vast choice of entertainment available to them on digital devices.
Statistics from the Department of Education show that one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11*. Figures from the National Foundation of Education Research show most children in England do not read on a daily basis with just over a third (37%) of 10 year-olds surveyed reported reading for pleasure every day**.
Gatwick Airport’s Head of Terminals & Passenger Services Nikki Barton said: “We are right behind this brilliant summer initiative by easyJet and were honoured to welcome Dame Jacqueline to Gatwick to launch the Book Club and sign some of her books for our younger passengers. There’s nothing like a great book, and kids heading off to the many holiday destinations served by easyJet from Gatwick this summer will certainly have plenty to keep them amused on-board.”
Of those surveyed, nine in ten parents (90%) said that they believed the breadth of electronic entertainment devices available to children has led to a decline in reading for pleasure.
Questioned on why they believe this trend has occurred, over a half (57%) said it was due to an increase of availability of digital devices from a young age.
Furthermore, of those surveyed eight in ten (80%) believe that the widespread presence of digital entertainment has had an adverse effect on literacy levels. Over half (53%) of British parents charted the rise of ‘digital devices’ (smartphones and tablets) as a reason for the decline in children reading for pleasure on holiday.
Notes to Editors:
Over a fifth (22%) of British parents said their children associated reading with studying for summer exams and tests - making holiday reading less desirable. The results revealed that children spend only 25 minutes and 22 seconds, reading solely for pleasure (not homework of school purposes) whilst on their holiday.
Over a quarter (29%) of parents thought their children rarely picked up a book to read for pleasure.
Furthermore, over five in ten (55%) of those surveyed said their children thought reading was ‘boring’ compared to film and gaming options.
Given a choice of ‘simple summer holiday pleasures’ they would like their child to enjoy, reading ranked the second most important (55%), close behind swimming in the sea (56%), eating ice cream in the sun (53%) and building sandcastles (48%) also ranked highly. Overall, the majority of parents surveyed (84%) would like their children to read more.
* Statistics from the Department of Education show that one in five children in England cannot read well by the age of 11 -https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/409409/Reading_the_next_steps.pdf
**Figures from the National Foundation of Education Research show most children in England do not read on a daily basis: in 2011 just over a third (37%) of 10 year-olds surveyed reported reading for pleasure every day-https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/PRTZ01/PRTZ01.pdf
easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe's primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.
easyJet flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline. easyJet carries 73 million passengers annually, of which around 20% are travelling on business. easyJet flies over 250 aircraft on more than 800 routes to over 130 airports across 31 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport.
easyJet recently revealed that more families are returning to fly with the airline which can be contributed to the range of parent friendly initiatives including an unrivalled network of family-friendly destinations, customer service, friendly crew and helpful initiatives which help parents bring essential items of luggage like buggies and car seats. Families also cited convenient booking methods as one reason why they choose to book witheasyJet, with mobile bookings made for family travellers growing by 47% year-on-year. easyJet’s aircraft cater for younger travellers’ tastes with fun-filled kids’ snack packs which not only contain a selection of healthy kids snacks such as fruit, raisins and Go Bananas Biscuits but also keep kids happy with an Ice Age activity box including games, colouring pictures and a set of colouring pencils. Lily and Gulliver, easyJet’s much loved teddy bears, are also available to buy on every flight – over 20,000 are soldonboard every year.
About Dame Jacqueline Wilson:
Over 40 million copies of Jacqueline Wilson’s books have now been sold in the UK alone and they have been translated into 34 different languages. She is one of the UK’s best-selling authors of the past decade.
From 2005-2007 Jacqueline was privileged to be the Children’s Laureate during which time she led an immensely successful campaign to encourage adults to read aloud to children long after they can read for themselves.
Jacqueline has been on countless shortlists and has won many awards, including the Smarties Prize, and the Children’s Book Award. The Illustrated Mum won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award
and the 1999 Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for
the 1999 Whitbread Children’s Book Award. The Story of Tracy Beaker won the 2002 Blue Peter People’s Choice Award. As well as receiving an OBE in 2002 for Services to Literacy in Schools, Jacqueline was awarded a DBE in 2008.
To support the initiative, Dame Jacqueline Wilson has compiled her top 10 list of must read books for children this summer
Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
The Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
The Railway Children (E. Nesbit)
Peter Pan (J.M Barrie)
The Borrowers (Mary Norton)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
Finn Family Moomintroll (Tove Jansson)
Journey To The River Sea (Eva Ibbotson)
The Silver Sword (Ian Serraillier)
The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)