Reading is rewarded for Northumberland youngsters

Young readers.
Young readers.

Three Early Years centres have been rewarded for their commitment in promoting a love of reading amongst their children, families and the wider community.

The initiative led by Northumberland Libraries & Early Years Team is developed in support of the Bookstart Treasure Pack gifting scheme for children aged 3-4 years old.

The winners were:

1st Prize: Ford Pre-School - A years’ subscription to Northumberland Schools Library Service ( worth £250)

2nd Prize: Spittal Community First School - A signed book and print donated by Helen Stephens, local author & illustrator whose books include ‘ How to Hide a Lion’

3rd Prize: Hirst Welfare Nursery - A basket of books donated by Northumberland Libraries

Prizes were awarded to centres who demonstrated the most successful story of how they engaged a hard to reach family and to the centres with the most unique ideas for engaging parents.

Promoting the Love of Reading certificates were also presented to 18 Early Years centres from across the County to acknowledge and celebrate their contribution in sharing and encouraging reading.

Northumberland Libraries & Early Years Team have been working with nurseries, childminders & Children’s Centres over the last year to help put books and reading at the centre of their work with young children, their families and the wider community.

Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member for Culture, Arts, Leisure and Tourism at Northumberland County Council said: “Getting children interested in reading from an early age is so important. The Promoting a Love of Reading initiative aims to encourage children and their families to enjoy books together.

“Well done to the all those have been involved and who are making a real difference in the communities they work in.”

Early years centres have also been gifted free Bookstart Treasure Packs to their four year olds. These packs contain a specially selected picturebook to share and a friendly guide with top tips and ideas for reading together, with the aim of encouraging families to share books and stories everyday. Nearly 3,000 packs were gifted in 2018 across Northumberland.

Northumberland Bookstart co-ordinators representing Early Years, libraries, Children’s Centres and health visitors wanted to find out more about how the packs were gifted and the impact on the children and families. This led to information events for centres wishing to gift the Treasure Pack where they could find out more about the Bookstart goals, share good practice and pick up ideas for sharing stories with children with additional needs. As a result all the participants signed up to ‘Promoting the Love of Reading’ and were encouraged to share what they were doing in their centres to help embed sharing books, with photographs, examples and case studies.