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Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the National Literacy Trust have teamed up to donate nearly 23,000 copies of Serena Patel’s award-winning book, Anisha, Accidental Detective, to 240 public schools in nine cities across the UK.

On December 6, a team from Enterprise embarks on a six-day tour of the UK to deliver the books in a van specially decorated by the book’s illustrator Emma McCann, with characters from the book.

The National Literacy Trust has partnered with Enterprise to identify communities across the UK that will benefit from a book injection, and the charity is convinced that this donation will help increase reading for the sake of pleasure among these children.

Roadtrip will start in Belfast and then travel to schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and London.

The aim of the initiative is to give schools in very diverse urban communities a stock of interesting books that they can give children home and keep, as this strengthens classroom learning.

Enterprise staff have included a read-with version of the book, which children can access via an online link or QR code as an added aid to help them read.

Research (ii) shows that reading for fun outside of school is a significant contributing factor to success in school and later in life and is even associated with a higher lifetime earning potential.

The initiative was made possible with a £ 128,000 donation from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation as part of the $ 55 million global ROAD Forward initiative promoting social and racial gender equality projects worldwide.

Darranda Rowswell, director of development at the National Literacy Trust, said: “About one in 11 children from lower-income families do not have their own book at home. Reading is not just fun, but it’s a vital skill, and we wish we that all children love to read.Children and young people who enjoy reading and who read often are better readers and help them realize their full potential in school and in life.

“This book donation is another important step in our literacy recovery program to address the educational problems caused by the pandemic and will help the children who need it most. We’re so glad Enterprise was in able to support us in this program, which will see thousands of children benefit from this exciting book. “

Simon Caughey-Rogers, Enterprises Corporate Social Responsibility and Charity Events Manager, said the partnership with the National Literacy Trust has had tremendous support from across the company.

He added: “Many of our superstar staff also struggled with reading in school. Every child should get the support they need to be their best and we hope this initiative will help a little to help more children to get the resources they need. We’re really looking forward to their feedback and excited to see how they move forward with the book. “

Research from CLPE in 2020 revealed that only eight percent of children’s books had the leading character of an ethnic minority. Serena Patel’s book was chosen to inspire children who may not normally see themselves represented in the books they read.

Author Serena Patel said she supported the National Literacy Trusts’ campaign to promote reading for pleasure and was pleased that her book played an important role in the program.

Serena said: “I was thrilled when I heard that the Enterprise and the National Literacy Trust joined forces on this initiative to provide books to children in primary schools. Lockdowns have been tough for everyone and therefore it is a huge privilege to be a part of such a positive, inspiring project. I could not be more proud that Anisha will help encourage children to discover the excitement of reading. Many thanks to Enterprise for making this happen and for supporting young readers over the whole country.”

Enterprise’s ROAD (Respect, Opportunity, Achievement, Diversity) Forward program is a global initiative launched by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation that aims to strengthen and support the communities in which the company operates. It provides funding for projects that open up opportunities for people who lack access to resources in education, health and wellness.

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation was established in 1982 to give back to the communities where partners and employees live and work.

Social mobility is at the heart of Enterprise’s recruitment and development strategy. The company was recently awarded Organization of the Year and Progression Program of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMOs).

List of schools and times participating in roadtrip:

Belfast – December 6thCranmore Integrated Primary School, Finaghy Rd N, Belfast, BT10 0JB

Glasgow – December 7thBroomhill Primary School, 57 Edgehill Road, Glasgow, G11 7HZ

Edinburgh – 7 DecemberHermitage Park Primary School, Hermitage Park, Edinburgh, EH6 8HD

Bradford – December 8thWhetley Academy Primary, Whetley Lane, Bradford, BD8 9HZ

Manchester – December 8thClaremont Primary School, Claremont Road, Manchester, M14 7NA

Birmingham – December 9thHeathfield Primary School, Heathfield Road, Birmingham, B19 1HJ

Bristol – December 9thCabot Primary School, Halston Drive, Bristol, BS2 9JE

London – 10 DecemberOlive School, 32 St Johns Church Road, Hackney, London, E9 6EJ

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