McDonald’s UK and Ireland has announced the distribution of its 100 millionth book to children across the country.
As the UK’s biggest distributor of free books to children, the company has been supporting children’s literacy since 2013 through its Happy Readers scheme and partnerships with National Literacy Trust and World Book Day.
For eight years the company has provided much-needed access to free books to families across the country.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Books are such an important part of children’s lives, not just for their academic development but broadening their minds and imagination.
“World Book Day is a celebration of that, and it is fantastic that the McDonald’s campaign has given away 100 million books to date, giving children of all backgrounds the chance to enjoy reading.”
This March, McDonald’s will extend this commitment to reading further with the distribution of World Book Day tokens on the side of every Happy Meal box.
This will enable millions more families to collect a free book from the fantastic range of 12 World Book Day books at supermarkets and retailers across the UK and Ireland.
Michelle Graham-Clare, VP of Marketing & Food at McDonald’s, said: “We are incredibly proud of this 100 million books milestone.
“We are proud to distribute millions of books every year as part of our Happy Meal and this World Book Day feels like a great moment to celebrate our 100 millionth book giveaway.
“As a mum of two, I know the importance of making sure children develop a love of reading, but also the struggle that can come with finding the time to read together at home. We also know that for many it is not just about time, but access to books and stories.
“Our aim in supporting World Book Day is to support as many families as possible to share stories – in whatever way they can: whether that is at bedtime; or over Zoom with loved ones they might not have seen for a while.
“We’re also delighted to be offering another fully sustainable toy in Happy Meal boxes, with our new partnership with Jurassic World and our fantastic paper-based dinosaur model toy.
“We are committed to making substantial changes to becoming a more sustainable business and this is just another way we are working towards that.”
The £1 book tokens can be swapped for one of 12 exclusive, new £1 World Book Day books for free at participating supermarkets and bookshops or used to get £1 off (€1.50 off in Ireland) any full price book or audiobook instead (as long as the book or audiobook costs at least £2.99 (or €3.99 in Ireland).
World Book Day books this year include books from much-loved children’s authors, including Tom Fletcher, Jonny Duddle, Zanib Mian, Katherine Rundell and Holly Jackson.
As well as carrying the £1 World Book Day tokens throughout March, McDonald’s Happy Meal will offer families a book or toy through its partnership with Netflix series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.
On purchasing a Happy Meal, families will be offered a choice between a book based on the popular TV series or McDonald’s latest fully sustainable card-based toy, a build-it-yourself dinosaur character.
Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive of World Book Day, said: “We are thrilled that World Book Day is continuing to partner with McDonald’s in 2021.
“World Book Day aims to change lives through a love of books and shared reading and our mission to ensure that all children can experience the life-changing power of books and reading has never been more important.
“With McDonald’s help we are able to engage with millions more families across the UK and Ireland – getting the £1 World Book Day Token into their hands and helping to encourage all children to discover the joy of books and reading for pleasure.”
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