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Russell Brand Pledges Funding to Set Up a Library at Former School

Russell Brand Pledges Funding to Set Up a Library at Former School

Actor and Comedian Russell Brand is giving money to his former school to help set up a library to promote the importance of reading in today's youth.

Brand recently gave a lecture in London, "where he talked about the books that inspired him and those that are given to him on a regular basis by friends and strangers," according to an article on TheGuardian.com.

The lecture, the article said, was organized by the Reading Agency, "a platform for 'leading writers and thinkers to share original challenging ideas about the future of reading in the UK.'"

"Brand was brought up in Grays Essex, to which he returned recently to find that the public library he used as a child was being relocated as 'part of a plan to show that it is not necessary to have a library.' Not only that, the library at his old school had also gone, leaving “barren, empty shelves."

"It is a disgrace that a state school doesn’t have a library funded by the state," Brand said.

According to the article, "Brand said he is helping to pay for a library at the school, now called the Hathaway academy, with publishers including Canongate and Random House donating books."

“It’s bloody ridiculous," he said. "How can a school get away with not having a library?”

Brand said "the issue preventing more people from reading was the establishment’s 'tacit agenda to turn you into a conformist," the article said.

“A lot of my education, I was being fed it like cough medicine, coshed over the bonce with some boring bit of data I could have done without," said Brand. "When I liked it was when people explained to me what the codes and systems of language were: this is allegory, this is metaphor, this is simile. The dryness was taken out of it. So much information is given to you and you feel the exclusivity – this isn’t for you.”

Brand said he "was regularly approached in the street by strangers who gave him books."

“It’s not the same as being given a bar of chocolate," he said. "There is a sanctity to it. It means something to them. It’s an indication of what they feel about me.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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