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Sandwell library to pilot national BookTrust reading scheme | Sandwell Council

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Sandwell library to pilot national BookTrust reading scheme

Published 8th October 2021

Stone Cross library in West Bromwich has been named by BookTrust as one of the 10 libraries across the country to trial new ideas to get families reading more.

The 10 libraries, will work intensely with BookTrust to test a range of innovative additional ideas, materials and activities.

By working together with BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, Stone Cross Library aims to support local families who may not have engaged with their library before to get started on their reading journey and reconnect with local communities after a year of closures.

Sharing stories is invaluable for children in their early years and creates lifelong positive impacts on health, wellbeing, creativity and education, yet children from disadvantaged backgrounds continue to face the biggest barriers to reading. In the wake of the pandemic, BookTrust Storytime provides libraries with an opportunity to showcase the range of books, reading and story time opportunities, events and activities available to local families for free in their local library 

From Thursday 21 October, families will find free BookTrust Storytime activities and resources and a welcoming space to have fun with their family at Stone Cross Library.

There will be live storytime sessions taking place in the library for the next six weeks where children and families will have the opportunity to hear stories read out aloud by expert librarians. There will collectables for children to gather and activity books with tasks related to the books the children are reading. Families will have the opportunity to take fun photos and sticker voting charts to find out how the families are enjoying the different books. The six books that these experiences are based on are the BookTrust Storytime Prize shortlist, which celebrates the best early years children’s books for sharing.

Anyone interested in attending one of the events which start on Thursday 21 October should book directly with the library via stonecross_library@sandwell.gov.uk

Funded by Arts Council England, the project brings together local authorities, library staff, authors and illustrators to test new ways of inspiring shared early years story experiences through local libraries.

A recent survey of 1,000 families in poverty with a child under five, carried out by the charity, found that less than half are registered with a public library.

Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member for culture and tourism at Sandwell council said:

“This survey results are appalling and need to be addressed urgently so that children and their families from whatever their background can benefit not only from the simple joys or reading, but how reading can inspire their imagination and improve their life skills.

”I am excited that the Stone Cross library has been named as one of the ten libraries that will look to pioneer new ways of helping everyone to be able to access reading and to learn to love it for the rest of their lives.”

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