Tesco has begun a new chapter in its Schools & Clubs voucher exchange scheme by adding books to the list of items that can be picked up.

The novel move is designed to help boost UK literacy levels after a National Literacy Trust survey of 17,000 children found that one in three does not have access to books of their own at home.

Now a range of best-selling kids’ books from authors including Frances Simon and Giles Andreae will be made available via the scheme, which has given away equipment worth £170m in the past 20 years.

“Learning to read is a fundamental part of a child’s education,” said schools minister Nick Gibb. “I welcome the support that Tesco and this scheme will be able to offer in helping all children to enjoy a lifetime’s love of reading and books.”

Author Andreae added: “Books at school need to appeal to today’s children. The foundations of enjoying reading spring from having access to a range of books.

“From the gross through the gruesome to the slapstick funny, it’s all all about enjoyment and finding the right book to engage every child.”

Read more
Tesco gets kids on board to shape schools programme (17 March 2011)
Tesco combines its sport and computer vouchers into one (21 February 2009)