Bookbug Week: 18 – 24 May 2015
As Bookbug Week 2015 begins, a recent YouGov poll has found that 72% of Scottish parents surveyed had introduced their child to books within the first 12 months of their lives.
The online poll, conducted in April 2015, asked 659 parents from a cross-section of Scotland when they had first introduced books to their child. 29% of parents said they started reading to their children between birth and 3 months old, 23% said they had started reading to their child between 4-6 months, 11% said 7-9 months and 9% said 10-12 months.
Marc Lambert, Director of Scottish Book Trust, said:
“Sharing a book with your child on a regular basis, from as early an age as possible, is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to make a real difference to their future. You might feel silly reading to a tiny newborn, or even to your bump, but your baby will listen closely to the rhythm of your voice and the speech patterns, laying strong foundations for later language development. It’s never too late to get started though – at any age your child will soon realise that books equal cuddles, helping to inspire a love of reading which will last a lifetime.
“Bookbug Week is the perfect time to celebrate the joy that books can bring with your little ones – with hundreds of free events across the country we hope as many parents and children as possible will join us for some songs, rhymes and stories.”
Acting Minister for Children and Young People Fiona McLeod added:
“As a former librarian, I know the importance of introducing children to books at the earliest possible age. It helps develop a love of books and improve their literacy skills. I’m delighted that more than 70 per cent of Scottish parents are already reading to their children in the first year and it would be fantastic to see this increase even further. Bookbug Week and other initiatives like our PlayTalkRead campaign are great opportunities to have fun reading and I’d encourage families to get involved in the activities across the country. I’m excited to be attending a world record attempt in Fife this week where hundreds of parents will read to their children at the same time.”
The theme for this year’s Bookbug Week is Bookbug’s Big Bedtime Story. Thousands of young children will take part in over 400 free, bedtime-themed events across Scotland that will feature appearances from some of the UK’s best loved children’s authors and illustrators. Families can find details of events happening in their area by visiting Bookbug Week or asking for more information at their local library.
This year’s Bookbug Week flagship event will take place at Rozelle House and Maclaurin Art Gallery in South Ayrshire on Tuesday 19 May. Hundreds of families with young children will celebrate the Bookbug programme, getting creative with arts and crafts and bedtime stories. Special activities on the day will include a Magic Garden sensory area, a Book Trail and a Snuggle Village.
Elsewhere, author Chae Strathie will deliver a fun-filled Authors Live event that will be streamed to schools, nurseries and homes across the country on Thursday 21 May and a host of fantastic Bookbug prizes will be up for grabs via Bookbug’s Facebook page throughout the week.
The Bookbug programme provides every child in Scotland with four free bags of books, gifting 720,000 books every year. Over 240,000 children in Scotland benefitted last year, with even more set to receive free books in 2015. Bookbug also runs regular free story, song and rhyme events in libraries, shopping centres and other community venues which attracted audiences of over half a million parents and children last year.
Bookbug Week is the perfect chance to find out more about the Bookbug programme, get involved, meet other families and get ideas on how to make sharing books, songs and rhymes with children a fun part of each day. Introducing children to books at an early age has many wonderful benefits, including building up their confidence and social skills, and giving their speech and language development a real boost.