READ is a scheme whereby people donate disused books and they are sent to Tanzania, where the secondary school curriculum is very similar to that of the UK. In Tanzania, there are 5 students to every one book. The scheme has already been piloted in Westminster, where more than 12,500 books were collected in the first six months, and in Lambeth.
Book banks have been set up at the Hook Centre, the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre and outside Boots in Kingston Town Centre. Books deposited here will be taken and stored with all the others that READ receives from around Britain before being shipped abroad.
Any books unsuitable for Tanzanian pupils are either sold online to raise money for the charity, given to other charities or recycled. No book is ever binned.
– Councillor Patricia Bamford, Kingston Council Lead Member for Children and Young People
"It's a wonderful idea. We're privileged to have a well-resourced education system and I'm sure borough schools and others will want to share some of our resources and learning with people less fortunate than us."
Cllr Patricia Bamford, Lead Member for Children and Young People, explains why she thinks READ is a great scheme