Championing The Book and Long-Form Content

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Part of our company’s mission is to foster a universal passion for reading. Our colleagues worldwide support this goal through the volunteer work they do, whether they help children improve their reading skills or discover and nurture new voices from under-represented communities.


Alice Horne, Editor, Life, DK (UK):
DK’s volunteer reading program with Oasis Academy Johanna Primary School is a really enjoyable way to get involved with the community. Once a week over lunch time, I work one-to-one with a child, listening to them read. Reading with the same child every week gives them consistency and helps us develop a more meaningful connection. It has been really rewarding to see how the pupils’ confidence and reading ability have developed since the beginning of the program. All of the children have different abilities – they might be reading below the expected level for their age, lack confidence in reading, or they might not be getting the help they need at home. By supporting this program, we are able to encourage children to a lifelong love of books, reading and learning.


Joe Marriott, Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House UK Children’s:
Volunteering on the creation of WriteNow has been an exhilarating experience – seeing people from all areas of the business, and all levels of seniority, come together with energy and passion to discover new voices from under-represented communities. Most importantly, we are making great strides in tackling the complex and challenging question of how to make our business, and the broader publishing landscape, more accessible and representative of the world we live in. It’s exciting to see how WriteNow is proving that something that could be seen as ‘worthy’ can be transformed into something also highly commercial that speaks to the very heart of what we strive to be as publishers: curious, open, ready to break down barriers and to able bring people together whatever their background through ideas and stories. I can’t think of a better example of how the combined experience and skill in Penguin Random House can make significant, impactful change that over time will be culturally enriching and bring us all closer together.


Jonathan Chung, Sales Associate, PRHPS National Accounts, PRH U.S.:
Being a part of the Read Ahead program has been a great privilege. Having the chance to reach young children who don’t necessarily like to read, and then being part of their inspiration to pick up a book is a cool feeling to experience. Watching their reading skills grow bit by bit over the school year, and then throughout elementary school, reminds you that you are doing something good and important. Beyond that, spending time developing a mentor-mentee friendship with your reading buddy and having them be excited to see you week after week, not skipping class, gives you a renewed excitement for showing up each week.


Jess Owen, Senior Editor, Penguin Young Readers, PRH Australia
Recently, I was lucky enough to visit two remote Australian schools in the Tiwi Islands, which are some 2,000 miles from our Sydney office. The trip was organised by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, the main charity PRH Australia supports nationally and last year we were honoured to donate A$115,000 to their cause. I was so inspired to witness how the foundation is tackling literacy levels in remote Indigenous communities. Sitting with two enthusiastic and smiley 7-year-old boys from Milikapiti Primary School and giggling with them over a funny picture book is an experience I won’t forget. These welcoming communities were thrilled to receive books for their students, as resources are difficult to come by due to their isolation. I’m proud to be part of an industry that hopes to instill a lifelong love of reading in all households and encourages the sharing of stories and books.

Posted: July 10, 2018