You may have noticed this little badge pop up on the right hand side of my blog and you may be wondering what that’s all about? Well, let me tell you.
The very lovely folk at Booktrust (and I know that they are very lovely as I’ve had the pleasure of working with a fair few of them), approached me to ask if I’d mind helping to spread the word about Bookstart 20, and the answer was of course, yes and absolutely!
This year is a celebration of 20 years of Bookstart, the book gifting programme in the UK that gives free books to babies, toddlers and 3-year-olds. Booktrust are going to be celebrating everything that the programme has achieved, including the 30 million free books they’ve given away since its inception in 1992.
Here’s what Michael Rosen has to say about Bookstart:
“We now know that if we share books with children right from the time they are babies, we are helping them enormously to understand the world. It’s all about looking, listening and talking. Bookstart offers the perfect way in: free books in your hand with all sorts of great suggestions about keeping up the habit of sharing books with our children. It’s a great scheme.”
Michael Rosen, poet and former Children’s Laureate
It is a great scheme and one that we as a family have benefitted from enormously.
Bookstart is here to give every child in the UK the opportunity to engage with books from an early age, but it won’t be around to do this without help from all of us to secure its future. This is where the Bookstart 20 pledge comes in. Just hop on over to the Bookstart website, click on “make a pledge” to join in the 20th year celebrations. The pledge means that you’ll be committing yourself to sharing 20 books in 2012. There are so many ways to do this; reading picture books with your children, reading to a group of children, posting a book review, recommending books to your friends. These are such easy things to do, but by clicking the “make a pledge” button on the Bookstart website before you get started you are showing your support for a scheme that gets books into the hands of children at crucial ages and often where they otherwise wouldn’t necessarily have access to them.
For my Bookstart 20 pledge I shall be sharing books with Milo as we always do, but we’e also going to choose some books for review here on my blog, and give some more books away to Lewisham Hospital as we did for International Book Giving Day. So, whenever you see the pledge badge up the top here on a post… you’ll know that we’re thinking about Bookstart while we’re reading.
What are you going to be doing to celebrate 20 years of Bookstart?