Saturday, 12 September 2009

Wrexham Schools amongst first in Wales for national free book programme

Young children in Wrexham will be amongst the first in Wales to receive a free book pack as part of a pilot scheme that aims to encourage families to read together.

1500 reception-aged children in 57 schools in Wrexham will receive a Booktime book pack from this year. It will include an English language copy of Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds and the Welsh translation Owain yn Mynd i'r Ysgol. The pack also includes guidance materials for parents and carers and tips on how to enjoy reading aloud to children, as well as reading activities for children.

Wrexham is one of only two local authorities in Wales who will pilot the Booktime programme, along with Bridgend. The Welsh Assembly Government approved the pilot in Wrexham after it was recommended by Basic Skills Cymru.

The Booktime programme, which is run in association with education and publishing company Pearson, was launched in England in 2006. It now runs in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. All children aged 4-5 years old are given the gift of a picture book to welcome them to their new school. The programme also encourages families to enjoy sharing a book together.

Booktime is run by the independent national charity Booktrust which is dedicated to encouraging people of all ages and cultures to engage with books.

Siwan Meirion, Basic Skills Co-ordinator for Wrexham Council:

“Booktime is a great way to encourage children, parents and carers to read together. The scheme has proved very popular in England and we hope that the programme will help foster a love of reading for young children in

Viv Bird, Chief Executive of Booktrust:

“We are thrilled that Booktime is being piloted in Wales this year. Booktime has already proved to be a big success with the four and five year olds in England, who have loved the gift of a free book to welcome them to their new school. We are confident it will be every bit as popular with the young readers of Wrexham.”


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