Secondary schools to get 15 free books each

<p>The government has launched a &pound;500,000 campaign to provide over 53,000 free books for secondary schools. Every secondary school in England will get 15 free books for their school library as part of the Everyone&#39;s Reading campaign being run jointly with the School Library Association.</p><p>The government hopes that the gifting scheme will help to raise reading standards among 11-18 year olds. Schools secretary Ed Balls and schools minister Iain Wright have urged young people to adopt a New Year&#39;s resolution to &#39;read more as a hobby&#39; in 2010.</p><p>The books, which have been selected by school librarian Eileen Armstrong, range from classics including Charlotte Bront&#1105;&#39;s <em>Jane Eyre</em> and Bram Stoker&#39;s<em> Dracula</em>, to more contemporary titles such as <em>Teach Your Granny to Text &amp; Other Ways to Change the World</em> and <em>Cup Final Day</em> by England goalkeeper David James.</p><p>Tricia Adams, chief executive at the Schools Library Association, said: &quot;School librarians will hope to stimulate young people to read more widely and to try something that they would not normally.&quot;</p><p>Previous government gifting schemes, where free books were given directly to young people, have included the early years programme, Book Ahead, and the &pound;5m primary programme Boys into Books.</p><p>Government research showed &quot;positive improvements in literacy, listening and communication skills&quot; linked to these programmes but funding to repeat the schemes is unlikely, said Adams.</p>