Support for Bookstart family scheme

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A NATIONAL drive to get more families to share and enjoy books is being given local support.

Libraries and children’s centres in East Sussex are promoting Bookstart 20, a nationwide campaign to promote book sharing, and will also help celebrate the 20th birthday of Bookstart, the reading scheme that gives free book packs to every baby in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A pledge postcard, that aims to get people to make a pledge to share 20 books in 2012, is available in all libraries and people can also pledge online at

The campaign has the support of 20 well-known faces including HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Gruffalo author, Julia Donaldson and War Horse author, Michael Morpurgo.

In addition to the Bookstart 20 campaign, in June this year, the County Council’s Library & Information Service will be supporting national Bookstart Week.

A series of story and rhyme time events and Bookstart parties to celebrate 20 years of Bookstart will be held at venues across the county for parents, carers and children to enjoy.

Councillor Tony Freebody, Lead Member for Community Services, said, “Reading is a key life skill and that is why we support the book sharing campaign and will do all we can to help promote Bookstart.

“We want to get parents and carers reading with their children and enjoying books together and Bookstart is a great way of supporting that aim.”

More information on what’s available for under-fives, including books in other languages and books for children who are visually or hearing impaired in East Sussex, is available on East Sussex County Council’s website at or email:

To find out more information about Bookstart, visit