Room to Read, a global non-profit focused on children’s literacy and girls’ education, is releasing hundreds of free digital children’s books to help UK households during school closures.

British home-schoolers can access children’s books not available in UK libraries and schools, offering hundreds of new stories to tell.

Room to Read’s online learning platform, Literacy Cloud, https://literacycloud.org/, hosts easy-to-access online books, which have been specially developed by children’s authors and illustrators around the world for children in primary school. The books are available to download for offline use. Literacy Cloud also hosts professional development videos for educators and children’s book creators on topics ranging from building a habit of reading to what makes a great children’s book.

The public launch of Literacy Cloud, a platform supported by a US$2.2 million Google.org grant, coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing millions of children attending schools. Room to Read has used the books to teach literacy skills to primary school children around the world, often in low-income communities. British children now have the opportunity to benefit from Room to Read’s expertise, which has boosted literacy rates around the globe.

Dr. Geetha Murali, CEO of Room to Read, said:

“We have opened up our vast library of children’s books to help parents and educators keen to continuously find new and inspirational tales to tell.

“These diverse books created by local authors and illustrators from around the world will help children develop empathy and understanding of cultures beyond their own while continuing to develop their habit of reading.

“We know this is a particularly challenging time for parents looking to fill the role of teachers and teachers who don’t want learning to stop, so we’ve also included learning resources developed by our literacy experts.”

The platform currently offers storybook titles in English and Bahasa Indonesia and will be quickly expanding to multiple additional languages to help households in Britain and the world in the coming weeks and months including Hindi, Kiswahili, Vietnamese, Nepali, Sinhalese, Bengali, Khmer, Lao, Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.