A primary school in Tower Hamlets has received a donation of books to help pupils continue their education despite being closed during lockdown.
London and Oxfordshire-based charity, The Children’s Book Project has donated boxes of books to Osmani Primary school in Whitechapel, to help continue education during home-schooling. Experts have warn school closures could lead to lasting effects on young children.
The book project gave the school bundles of three books for each child who the school has determined is vulnerable or living in challenging circumstances especially during a time of lockdown and home-schooling.
Andrej Ebringer, a spokesperson for Osmani Primary said they were “recommended to the project by another Tower Hamlets school” and will distribute the books to children at their homes.
In a tweet, Osmani Primary school thanked the book project for their generous book donation, with a photo of the pupils next to the book parcels.
Liberty Venn of the Children’s Book Project said: “We work primarily with schools that support a high level of disadvantage pupils, which does correlate with lower levels of book ownership. Our kind of overarching mission is to address the book gap.”
The Children’s Book Project, which redistributes thousands of new and gently used books to children and their families, were unable to deliver their standard model of handing books directly to pupils. However, they do have drop off points across London which are independent of the schools where donators deposit books they do not need.
Venn said: “In one drop off area we received about 8,000 books for the duration it has been running.”
Being an economically vulnerable school in its borough, Osmani primary has also received donations of laptops from Clyde & Co law firm to help aid online learning.
Schools have been shut for the second time within a year in the hopes COVID-19 rates will reduce, changing from in-class teaching to online.
Osmani Primary said: “We are providing daily live online lessons via Google classroom. The children and the teachers have adapted fast and the feedback from parents is very positive.”
Many experts warn school closures will have effects on children’s learning in the future.
The latest report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows the lack of education children are receiving due to COVID-19 is likely to cause each child to “lose an average of £40,000 each in lifetime earnings.”
Due to children not being at school and not using their reading ‘muscle’, Venn worries that “children’s actual reading skills will diminish, or stall.”
She said: “Children have missed out on some fundamental building blocks of literacy, which will inevitably impede their ability to access learning in year two and year three.”