Download Book Dash’s brief Annual Report for the 2022/23 year: It covers the activities in the year that was (most significantly the milestone of three million books!), along with key updates on Book Dash’s strategic direction going forwards… you guessed it, we’re looking at ways to get even more of our beautiful books into children’s hands and homes.
The 2021 PIRLS results reminded us why this work is more urgent than ever. The source of low literacy scores start long before a child gets tested formally at school. The release of the nationally-representative National Reading Survey this year showed that 65% of children turn 10 years old without having a single picturebook in their home. We need to pay attention to this data and invest in impactful solutions that increase early years book ownership along with mediation and support.
It’s worth mentioning a few key developments that have taken place since the period reported on:
We were invited to make books at a world-renowned children’s book fair in Italy and we presented at the World Literacy Summit. We’ve expanded the team with dedicated publishing and production expertise and we’re beefing up our relationships with organisations who use our open-licensed books to strengthen their parenting and literacy promotion programmes. To that end, we have a new strategic partnership with ChangeX and the LEGO Foundation’s Community Play Fund. This fund provides community-based book champions with the technical support and funds required to print and distribute our books! In this way, 1,000 Book Dash books were already distributed to vulnerable families in Ukraine in September, with more such cases in the pipeline both locally and abroad. As the cherry on top, in June we were also selected as one of three organisations globally by TheirWorld for their prestigious Innovation in Early Education scale-up grant.
We don’t rest on our laurels though, there’s too much to get on with: Over a million new babies are born each year in South Africa. Most of them are well on track not to own one of the most valuable tools for their early development: a book. Our work changes that story.
As we continue to grow, our guiding light remains the vision that started it all: ‘Every child should own a hundred books by the age of five’. We’re as committed as ever to moving towards that in the most effective ways we know. In 2024, Book Dash will celebrate its 10th year. We’re energised by the community that got us here and that will propel us forward. So many, many people have been part of that; Book Dash is our shared success.
If you’d ever like to discuss new ideas or further partnerships for ways to get Book Dash books to the children and families you reach, please drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!