It was National Bookstart Week 9 – 15 June and children visiting Westminster libraries had lots of fun!
The message from Bookstart is ‘read with your child every day’. Just sharing a book for a few minutes each day can make a big difference to children’s language skills, and is also a great way to have fun with your child. Visit your local library for brilliant books to borrow and share together.
The theme of this years’ National Bookstart Week was ‘superheroes’. Children at Pimlico Library enjoyed listening to a story of Super Duck by Jez Alborough and got to take a copy home with them. After singing songs and rhymes, there were ‘quacktivities’ to take part in, including making a superhero mask.
Then they were visited by a real life hero, Police Community Support Officer Little (here he is with his copy of Super Duck!)
St John’s Wood Library also had a Super Week promoting Bookstart. There are three Under 5s Rhyme Time sessions at St John’s Wood every week and after each session last week staff spoke to parents and carers about incorporating reading into a daily routine, particularly at bedtime. The aim this year was encouraging reading to children no matter what their age: the sooner the better – one of the library volunteers used to read chapter books to his twins while they were still in the womb! Although some may consider this extreme, research shows how reading to children is more than speaking words on a page but is crucial to their development and makes it much easier for them to learn and succeed at school. Reading one-to-one also helps strengthen the bonds between the child and the parent. Of course our other constant aim as a library service is to encourage a love of reading, books and libraries which will continue into later life.
Bookstart is a national charity that gifts free packs of books to pre-school children. For more information on the scheme visit www.bookstart.org.uk
[Rachel and Natalie]