“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”  – Emilie Buchwald, author

There is a wealth of literature about how important it is to read out loud with children from an early age – even before birth. In fact, research has shown that growing up in an environment where reading is valued, has a more positive effect on a child’s achievement than their education or their economic status [1].

With this in mind and in order to raise awareness of the importance of sharing books with babies and young children, our Communication and Language Team are currently holding ‘Book Sharing Weeks’ within seven local Early Years settings in the ABS areas. Each setting are opening their doors to all parents and carers for a whole week, encouraging them to come in at any time of their choosing, to share a book with their child. It has been a popular event so far, with some parents so keen to share books with their children that they have been back to the pre-schools or day nurseries, several times over the week!

During these special weeks, some settings have also been lucky enough to have received a visit from the mobile library and as a result of its popularity, further regular visits have now been scheduled to take place between the mobile library and the settings.

Little Stars Day Nursery, Shoeburyness ran a really successful Book Sharing Week at the end of May and also received a visit from the mobile library. Sue Arrowsmith, their manager said, “It was a great success, all the children had a lovely time reading their favourite books in specially created cosy areas. We had many parents attend, some attended more than once and one dad actually read to a whole group of children!”

Andrew Bazely, Southend-on-Sea’s Mobile Library Manager says, “It’s always enjoyable to welcome young readers on to the mobile library, I think for some of the children it can be a novelty to hop onto the book bus to choose their books and hopefully it’s a good introduction to the enjoyment of a good book, either reading it yourself, or even better with mum or dad!”


[1] How to Enjoy Reading Aloud to young children, Pegg and Shakespeare, Southgate Publishers (2008)


Article published June 2017

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