This year, Bookstart is celebrating 20 years of the world-renowned reading programme which gifts free books to young children and to celebrate Bookstart 20, National Bookstart Week 2012 was launched in Strabane Library on Monday 11th
At the launch of National Bookstart Week in Strabane Library, children enjoyed party-themed activities in the library’s Play and Learn Centre which was hosted by Strabane Sure Start, followed by a birthday Rhythm & Rhyme session held by library staff. The Bookstart ‘Bookster Bear’
also made a surprise arrival, which delighted everyone there. The children enjoyed singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Booktrust and had fun surprising ‘Bookster’
with a cake!
Councillor Anne Brolly, who is also a Board Member of Libraries NI congratulated Bookstart on 20 years success, while Liz Kavanagh, Barnardo’s Children Services Manager, did the same on behalf of Strabane SureStart.
To give as many children the opportunity to be a part of this week, Libraries NI is holding a programme of free Rhythm & Rhyme events, from Monday 11th
June - Saturday 16th
June, to give toddlers and their parents/carers the opportunity to enjoy stories, songs and rhymes in the welcoming environment of libraries across Northern Ireland.
Almost 40 libraries will be holding ‘party-themed’ Rhythm and Rhyme sessions for children (age 0 - 4) during National Bookstart Week, to promote book sharing and celebrate the 20th
birthday of Bookstart.
Valerie Christie, Children's Services Manager with Libraries NI, explains: “Libraries NI is pleased to celebrate 20 years of Bookstart with a week-long programme of Rhythm & Rhyme events. The routine of sharing books, stories, songs and rhymes with babies helps to build pre-literacy skills as well as providing a unique opportunity for parents and carers to build a strong and loving bond with their children.
“We’d like to encourage parents to come along to regular Rhythm & Rhyme sessions held in libraries, to introduce their children to the wonder of books in a free and fun way.”
Bookstart exists to give every child a flying start in life, and that's why we are asking for the support of everyone to help secure it for future generations. Parents/carers can be a part of the Bookstart 20th
year celebrations by making a simple pledge: to share 20 books in 2012.
Making the pledge is a simple way for people to get into the habit of reading with their children and show their support for Bookstart. Pledge cards are available in all libraries and mobile libraries. So call into your local library and find out more today!
Liz Canning, Bookstart Northern Ireland, explains: “Bookstart in Northern Ireland is delighted to be working with Libraries NI to encourage children and parents to share books and stories together. We hope that families will make the pledge to share 20 books together and continue to attend the Rhythm and Rhyme sessions held at libraries across Northern Ireland.”
For information on events being held to mark Bookstart 20 and National Bookstart Week 2012, go to www.bookstart.org.uk
For details of all Rhythm & Rhyme sessions taking place in Libraries NI to celebrate National Bookstart Week, call into your local library or go to www.librariesni.org.uk