Oak National Academy and National Literacy Trust give free access to books for children who are remote learning

By John Dunne for Evening Standard

Children across the country will be able to read free books online during school closures starting with a story by Dame Jacqueline Wilson. 

Oak National Academy, a Government-backed virtual school, is launching a virtual library so pupils can read books from popular children’s authors digitally during the latest lockdown.

The library, formed with The National Literacy Trust, has been launched after measures were taken to close schools in England to the majority of pupils until February half-term.

Children will be provided with a free-to-access book every week from the library’s author of the week. 

Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s The Story of Tracy Beaker, illustrated by Nick Sharratt, will be the first book available to read free for a week from January 17.

The initiative aims to increase access to e-books and audiobooks for the most disadvantaged young readers during closures and support the literacy of children most affected by Covid-19.

The launch of the library came as 4.1 million pupils accessed the Oak National Academy in the past fortnight – and more than 28 million lessons have been provided since the start of the new school term on January 4.

All pupils in England – except children of key workers and vulnerable pupils – have moved to remote education until mid-February amid school closures.

Read more here.

Help your child learn to read with Reading Kingdom. Sign up today for a free 30 day trial.