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The Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation, our charitable arm, extends our commitment to education in partnership with non-profit and public interest organisations. We partner with leading businesses and civic organisations to support students and teachers and to sponsor community-based education programmes across the globe.

In 2007 we donated £7.2m in cash donations and gave additional in-kind support, such as employees’ time, advertising space, publishing expertise and book donations. Our total charitable giving (cash and in-kind donations) in 2006 was £6.7m. We will report our 2007 numbers for cash and in-kind support later this year.

Pearson's cash charitable giving - 2003 - 2007Pearson's cash charitable giving - 2003 - 2007

Pearson has a proud history of corporate giving and supporting projects in our communities. Through the Pearson Foundation – and through the efforts of our businesses and employees – we focus our charitable giving on education and literacy projects around the world.

In 2007 we announced the Pearson Foundation Development Fund, a $1m fund available for our businesses around the world to invest in local community-based projects. At the suggestion of Pearson people, the Pearson Foundation:

  • Launched The Citi-FT Financial Education Summit, the first in a series of annual financial education conferences organised by the Pearson Foundation, the Financial Times, and the Citi Foundation, which gave more than 300 representatives from international NGOs, businesses, and civic organisations the opportunity to come together in Delhi, India to share best practices and explore why financial literacy plays such a critical role in promoting sustainable economic development around the world.
  • Inaugurated the Pearson Media Centre at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. This state-of-the art environment serves University teachers and students as a locus for education-focused learning and research.
  • Provided digital arts training and support to non-profit organisations in Africa including the International Organization for Migration (IOM); Pact Ethiopia; the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots programme; and Unicef’s Sara Communications Initiative.

We also made lasting commitments to help train teachers and provide educational opportunities to young people and their families in rural villages in Africa, India, and Asia; provided publishing support to the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classroom initiative, and to the American Red Cross’s Exploring Humanitarian Law Curriculum; joined forces with the National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE) to promote education in the US; and designed and produced an illustrated version of The Right to Education during Displacement: A Resource for Organizations Working with Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons together with the Women’s Commission.

Additional highlights from 2007 include:

  • Digital Arts Alliance: our continued leadership of the Digital Arts Alliance, a public private consortium that promotes 21st century skills in K-12 education through fully funded and staffed digital arts programmes delivered directly to schools and community centres. In 2007, the Digital Arts Alliance welcomed Adobe Systems, Inc., the American Red Cross, Facing History and Ourselves, Peachpit, Phi Delta Kappa International, and Pearson Education/Hispanic Leadership Council to the Digital Arts Alliance, and also announced a significant expansion of its existing partnership with Nokia, as well as a national initiative with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). In the process, the Digital Arts Alliance made it possible for more than 15,000 students and teachers to experience firsthand how laptop computers, video production equipment, and the latest mobile-phone technologies are changing the ways young people can organise, present, and share information about issues that matter to them.
  • Family Book Nights: once again we brought the Pearson Foundation’s own Family Book Nights and Book Donation programme to young people and their families in classrooms and community organisations across the US. These celebrations bring families and Pearson employees together to share in the joy of reading. In the process, parents learn simple reading techniques they can employ to help their children and learn first hand about the long-term importance that active, repeated family reading can have in a child’s personal and cognitive development.
  • The Pearson Teacher Fellowship: we continued our flagship programme with US not-for-profit Jumpstart and extended our Pearson Teacher Fellowship programme, which in 2007 trained and supported 50 talented college graduates to become pre-school teachers in under-served areas across the US. Pearson Teacher Fellows receive a stipend, intensive training, mentoring from a Pearson professional, and the resources needed for school success and professional development.
  • Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign: in 2007, Pearson people around the world again helped set a new world record for the largest ‘shared reading experience’ as part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record 2007, breaking the world record for the number of people reading the same book on a single day. Pearson people joined close to 400,000 registered readers in individual events throughout the US and around the world, reading a custom limited edition of Penguin Young Readers children’s classic The Story of Ferdinand. With 100% underwriting by Pearson, all proceeds from sales of the book benefited Jumpstart in its mission to prepare children from low-income communities for success in school and in life. During the Campaign, the Pearson Foundation donated more than 50,000 books to schools, teachers, and education partners, and contributed tens of thousands of books to Head Start and other early education centres.
  • Booktime: in 2007 our UK community programme gave 700,000 children across the UK a free copy of the Puffin children’s classic, Funnybones, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Booktime, run in association with the charity Booktrust, aims to encourage parents and carers to read with their children. The books were delivered to children in a book bag with a leaflet for their parents giving tips and ideas about reading with their child. This year Booktime was supported by the UK government’s Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). We also provided 17,000 resource packs for schools and libraries containing session ideas and activity sheets based around Funnybones.

    As part of Booktime, Pearson staff are taking part in a volunteer reading scheme, reading one-to-one with children in local primary schools.
  • Book Aid International: we continue to fund Book Aid International’s mobile reading tent project to encourage reading in East Africa. Together with the East African Book Development Association, the programme sends touring tents to remote areas in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, where schools lack access to local libraries. In 2007, 12 reading tent events took place in each of the three countries, reaching over 300 schools. We donated 29,000 books to the reading tents and gave a grant for the purchase of locally published books. We also funded training sessions for local employees to strengthen the impact of the reading tents.


Pearson was awarded a Big Tick by the UK’s Business in the Community (BITC) – an award of excellence which recognises companies’ social impact and, in Pearson’s case, the use of technology to transform student learning.

We received the Cause Marketing Halo Award from the Cause Marketing Forum for our contribution to Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Campaign.

We were also honoured by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) with the prestigious ECS Corporate Award, which recognises sustained commitment to, and substantial investment in, improving public education. Pearson is the first education company to receive the ECS Corporate Award.

For further information go to: www.pearsonfoundation.orgExternal site

Our employees

We encourage our employees to play a part in their local communities, supporting their involvement with time, money and Pearson products where appropriate.

We match employee fundraising around the world and run a number of volunteer schemes which encourage employees to give time in the working day to community programmes. For example in the UK our employees give their time to local primary schools to read one-on-one with school children as part of our Booktime programme (see above).

Volunteers from Pearson businesses across the US, Africa, and Latin America participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Campaign, again helping to set the record for the largest shared reading experience ever on a single day. During the months leading up to the record-setting event, employees also worked with governors, mayors, PTAs, schools, libraries, and local organisations to spread the word and highlight the importance and the power of reading. On 20 September, staff took part in literacy celebrations by organising readings, visiting local schools and youth centres with their colleagues, and in many locations helping young people create their own personalised ABC books based on the Pearson Foundation’s Family Book Nights programme.

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