This Christmas, Children's Books Ireland, The Arts Council and KPMG will collaborate to gift 6,000 books to children living in direct provision, hospitals and homelessness. 

With over 2,100 children living in direct provision services and over 2,500 currently experiencing homelessness, this project will ensure that children and their families will get to read a bedtime story this Christmas time. 

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Listen: Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children's Books Ireland, on their Christmas book gifting initiative, via Morning Ireland

The project will also provide a boost to the Irish literature sector by ensuring that all the books are by Irish authors, illustrators and publishers, following on from the difficult few months that this sector has experienced. 

Head of literature at the Arts Council, Sarah Bannan said: "The Arts Council recognises that writers and illustrators are the heart of children's literature. We know, too, that the magic of books is made real when they are opened and read and shared. While this has been a difficult year for so many, books remain a place where we can find solace, or joy, or new perspectives."

According to a recent survey by Scottish Book Trust, 92 percent of respondents agreed that reading is important to them in times of stress or anxiety and 98 percent agreed that reading supports their wellbeing.

Children who are living in direct provision centers, are undergoing treatment in hospital or are experiencing homelessness are under great amounts of stress and the gift of reading may be something small that can brighten up their day. 

CEO of Children's Books Ireland, Elaina Ryan said: "All over Ireland, there are children who do not own a book, who may not have a culture of reading at home or who need cheering up when things are really tough.

"We know that books can make things a little bit better and brighter for them by bringing the joy of reading to children who need it most."

For more information on the Children's Books Ireland Christmas book initiative, visit here