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CLPE recognised for outstanding contributions to children’s books

We are thrilled to announce that CLPE has been awarded the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award for our contributions to children’s literacy!

The prize, administered by the Children’s Book Circle (CBC), is given annually to acknowledge those individuals or institutions whose work and commitment to the world of children’s books has been deemed to be outstanding. Running since 1966 in memory of children’s author Eleanor Farjeon, previous winners have included Michael Morpurgo, Quentin Blake, Philip Pullman and Malorie Blackman. We are honoured to have our work acknowledged alongside these authors and illustrators – many of which are our patrons and inspirations.

Christabel McKinley, Co-Chair of the CBC, said: “This year we wanted to honour the scope and ambition that the CLPE has demonstrated in their pursuit of improving literacy for all children. The holistic approach they have taken - providing a wealth of resources for both children and educators through relevant research, tailored training and their beautiful new library – has proved ingenious and demonstrably effective. It is with great pleasure that we would like to recognise the commitment the CLPE has already made to furthering child literacy, and we look forward to watching the transformative results of their work continue.”

Chief Executive, Louise Johns-Shepherd, was presented with the prize on behald of the team at a special award ceremony held St Bride’s Library on 12th February.

“Eleanor Farjeon was such a champion of children and of books and we are so honoured to have our work recognised by this prestigious award. Children’s literature is the absolute heart of all our work at CLPE where we support children to become literate and to develop a love of reading and writing in their homes, in schools and in libraries. Receiving this recognition will help us to do even more for children, in more places and with more books.”

We have been working in the field of children’s literature for nearly fifty years and our work benefits nearly 5 million children in schools across the country.  In just the last two years our charity has:

  • Produced the first ever report into representation within children’s books: Reflecting Realities, funded by the Arts Council.
  • Championed the importance of poetry – running the only award solely for children’s poetry, the CLiPPA which involves children from all over the country and brings 1000 children to the National Theatre to celebrate poetry.
  • Launched research which shows the power of the picture book and the importance of drawing for developing literacy
  • Crowdfunded the creation of the ‘Literacy Library’ at our London centre, building a new space for 23,000 children’s books for teachers, publishers, literacy organisations, authors and charities to use. We now share this space with two other literacy charities, the Driver’s Youth Trust and First Story.
  • Written a book for teachers, The Power of a Reading Rich Classroom, published by SAGE Publications on 29th February 2020
  • Worked collaboratively with publishers to produce events for more than 90 authors, illustrators and poets, including a new programme of events for 2020, Literacy Library Presents
  • Worked face to face with 3,000 teachers across the country each year and provided online resources and support for thousands more.

This achievement follows on from a year of success for CLPE. Read about our year here