[London, March 7, 2019] World Book Day is being celebrated across the UK today and this year the theme is ‘Share a Story’. Arriva train companies, including Chiltern Railways, Grand Central and Arriva Rail London are supporting World Book Day by handing out free-of-charge railway-inspired stories to encourage commuters to read to their children when they get home.
The books are appropriately themed railway stories and suitable for a range of ages from 2 to 11 years. It includes Stay Safe with Thomas, a new Thomas the Tank Engine book made in collaboration with Network Rail.
Chiltern Railways will be handing out books at London Marylebone Station, and Arriva Rail London has a number of stations covered including Acton Central, Dalston Junction, Enfield Town, Gospel Oak, New Cross Gate and Wanstead Park. Grand Central will be giving away free copies to children travelling northbound on their services.
The initiative is part of Arriva’s commitment to the National Literacy Trust’s Vision for Literacy 2019 Business Pledge, which aims to close the nation’s literacy gap and boost social mobility.
Arriva train companies have pledged to help address literacy problems within local communities, and the book-giveaway is the start of a series of planned initiatives.
It has been coordinated by Arriva’s Society & Community Improvement Network, which helps to develop and support locally led community engagement across Arriva’s UK train and bus companies.
Chris Burchell, Managing Director, Arriva UK Trains, said:
“We’re pleased to support the National Literacy Trust in this important campaign to raise literacy levels so that no child should start secondary school behind their peers in reading age.
“Our Society & Community Improvement Network has done a fantastic job in getting our people behind the campaign. Taking the train is a great opportunity to read, and we’re proud to be supporting this campaign that will help the communities we serve.”
According to research from Save the Children, the UK economy could be over £32 billion bigger by 2025 if every child left primary school with the reading skills they need. Reading helps children do better at school and go on to have happier lives, with parental involvement having significant benefits.
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said:
“The National Literacy Trust exists to transform lives through literacy, which is why we are thrilled to be partnering with Arriva to bring the joy of books and reading to so many children and young people this World Book Day.”
#LiteracyPledge @Literacy_Trust @LDNOverground @chilternrailway @GC_Rail
 Read On. Get On. (2014) How reading can help children escape poverty. Published by Save the Children on behalf of the Read On. Get On. Campaign.