28 March 2019

Book Clubs in Schools Celebrates Its 5th Birthday


Book Clubs in Schools (BCiS) celebrates five years of delivering a cross-age peer mentoring programme to primary and secondary school students across the UK. The scheme helps young people develop a lifelong love of reading, character and communication skills, and builds cultural capital. A celebration will take place 28thof March at the West London Free School in Hammersmith, one of the founding book club schools.


“We aim to help all young people engage with the wider world through developing their character and communication skills along with a love of reading,” explain BCiS founders Beth Ginsburg and Alison Palmer.

There is a growing field of research into the potential benefits reading for pleasure can have on academic performance and mental health. Reading and discussion encourages empathy and social cohesion as well as expanding vocabulary and critical thinking. Reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background and reading fiction is associated with improved relationships.*

Founded in 2014, over 10,000 students have taken part in the Book Clubs in Schools programme to date.



Book Clubs in Schools (BCiS) is a not-for-profit, unique cross-age peer mentoring programme. We work in primary and secondary schools, starting with the most disadvantaged areas.  The book clubs help young people develop a lifelong love of reading, build character and communication skills, and encourage critical thinking and creativity and narrow the social gap.

For more information, images or to see a Book Club in action please contact Alison Palmer, Co-founder of Book Clubs in Schools, on Alison@bookclubsinschools.org or 07808587606.



*Sullivan and Brown (2013) Social inequalities in cognitive scores at age 16: The role of reading