BookTrust to give away 450,000 books to celebrate 25 years of the Bookstart programme

Nottingham Libraries will be celebrating National Bookstart Week 2017 with a jam-packed day of full of stories and fun activities in the grounds of Nottingham Castle on 12 June 2017 from 10am until 2pm, to encourage and inspire families to have fun reading together, anywhere and anytime.

Bookstart at Nottingham Castle

Last year’s event at Nottingham Castle

National Bookstart Week is an annual celebration of BookTrust’s flagship reading programme, Bookstart, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Bookstart gives every child in England and Wales a free reading pack in the first year of their life and again when they are 3-4 years old. BookTrust works to remind families of the importance of reading for pleasure – even if it’s just for ten minutes a day.

The theme of this year’s National Bookstart Week (5-12 June) is ‘Let’s Explore Outdoors’. Children who attend any of the events will receive a free copy of the picture book Everybunny Dance! by Ellie Sandall. Children’s reading charity BookTrust, supported by Hodder Children’s Books, has more than 450,000 copies to give away.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: “Reading regularly with children is so important. We know that children who use libraries are more than twice as likely to be above average readers and to read more on their own in their spare time. More than a thousand people visited Nottingham Castle’s National Bookstart Week event last year, and this year promises to be even bigger.”

Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust said: “We are thrilled so many children will receive a copy of Everybunny Dance! to help celebrate 25 years of BookTrust’s flagship programme Bookstart. It is important for parents and carers to find the time to read with their children, sharing the adventures that books can offer. Shared reading and encouraging reading for enjoyment from a young age can help children on their reading journeys and inspire a lifelong love of reading.

“Reading for pleasure has a dramatic effect on many life outcomes for children such as their well- being, confidence and educational achievements. Quite simply, those children who read for pleasure are more likely to be happier, healthier and do better in life than those who don’t.”
Families should visit their nearest library or children’s centre to find out more about their local National Bookstart Week event 

If families are unable to make it along to their local event they can join in the fun at home, with plenty of bunny-themed arts and crafts and games, all on the Bookstart website.

For more information contact: Jane Barton, Communications and Marketing Officer jane.barton@nottinghamcity.gov.uk 0115 8761222
Notes to Editors
1. Interviews are available with Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust or Gemma Malley, Director of BookTrust. Please contact BookTrust’s Press Officer Bethan Phillips on 020 7801 8848 or Bethan.Phillips@booktrust.org.uk for further information.

2. BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. We work to inspire a love of reading in children because we know that reading can transform lives. Each year we reach 2.5 million children across the UK with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading. Every parent receives a BookTrust book in the baby’s first year. Our books are delivered via health, library, schools and early year’s practitioners, and are supported with guidance, advice and resources to encourage the reading habit. Reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on educational outcomes, well-being and social mobility, and is also a huge pleasure in itself. We are committed to starting children on their reading journey and supporting them throughout. www.booktrust.org.uk

3. Bookstart is BookTrust’s flagship programme and gifts free books to all children at two key ages before school to help families read together every day and inspire children with a rewarding love of books – www.booktrust.org.uk

4. Research has shown that if a parent reads to their infant every day they will be almost 12 months ahead of those who are read to less often, in terms of their reading and language skills. (Kalb, G. & van Ours, J. C. (2013) Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life? Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research).

5. Throughout the year BookTrust gives free books to more 2.5 million children across the UK. Inclusive packs are also available for children in care, with hearing or sight impairment, fine motor delay or whose first language isn’t English.

6. Regular Bookstart-supported Storytime and Rhymetime sessions are held throughout the year in local libraries, nurseries and children’s centres.

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