Winners of the Bookstart Coordinator, Baby and Treasure Awards
Introducing the winners of our Bookstart Coordinator, Bookstart Baby Gifting Partner and Bookstart Treasure Gifting Partner Awards. Find out what made them stand out for the judging panel and hear what receiving these awards means to them.
Bookstart Coordinator Award
Early Years Librarian, Sheffield
Anne made a huge impression on the judges for her personal energy and passion, as well as her enormous efforts working at all levels to reach those families that would most benefit from Bookstart.
Sheffield is home to diverse communities, as well as a number of areas of high deprivation and inner city need. Anne uses a range of methods to reach as many families as she can, engaging them in the benefits of reading for pleasure through the Bookstart packs and encouraging library membership. She drives The Little Library van to visit hard-to-reach families with under-5s, running events and sessions direct from the mobile library.
Sheffield consistently reaches its 100% gifting target, due in large part to the hard work done by Anne in ensuring that fellow practitioners buy in to the concept of Bookstart. She keeps health visitors and colleagues up to date with initiatives and works closely with a whole range of partners and settings across the city - from nurseries and playgroups to hearing-impaired units, homeless families, looked-after children, new arrivals teams and traveller sites.
Anne Frost (centre) and colleagues with The Little Library van in Sheffield
Anne organises an annual National Bookstart Week event, bringing together all partners, which creates a buzz across the city and is attended by senior local authority managers and elected members. She also promoted BookTrust's Bath, Book, Bed campaign with a Peppa Pig event attracting over 300 visitors.
Anne is also the driving force behind the Baby Book Award, part of the annual Sheffield Children’s Book Awards. Children and families can vote for one of the shortlisted authors and are then invited to attend an awards ceremony, where they can meet the authors and illustrators and receive a goody bag.
'Being nominated by others in the same field means the world to me. Winning this award is exciting, humbling and rewarding. It also demonstrates how well we work with other organisations and partners both locally and nationally.'
'With Bookstart I believe I am helping people to create positive change.'
'Someone once said there are three important documents in life: birth certificate, passport and library card. Introducing families to book-sharing through Bookstart has given me a greater understanding of the power of stories and rhymes on a person’s wellbeing, not just the child but also the parent or carer as a first teacher and myself as a person in a position to offer the gift of books.'
Bookstart Baby Gifting Partner Award
Library Early Years Worker, Rochdale
Irene stood out both for her long involvement with Bookstart and her personal touch with families.
Over the last ten years, Irene has become a much-loved Library Early Years Worker, well known across Rochdale - and across generations. Irene has a special way of connecting with parents, carers and their children in a manner that is full of warmth and she has an infectious enthusiasm for spreading a love of books and reading.
As well as being able to effortlessly hold the attention of children and adults alike, Irene has proved expert at breaking down barriers and building confidence in families. Rochdale has high levels of disadvantage and Irene has clearly made a great impact with the many families she has worked with over the years.
'Sharing books, songs and rhymes with babies and pre-schoolers has been my passion for over 44 years, so to be acknowledged with the Bookstart Baby Gifting Partner Award is amazing and quite overwhelming.'
Irene in action at a Bookstart event - image courtesy of Rochdale Borough Council
'I receive lots of feedback from families on how receiving their Bookstart packs and attending my sessions have given them confidence to share books at home and how this has had an impact on their children’s learning and literacy development at nursery and school.'
'Bookstart has enabled me to share my passion through a national, recognised scheme.'
Bookstart Treasure Gifting Partner Award
Assistant Head Teacher, Forest Fields Primary School, Nottingham
Shamim is a great advocate for both Bookstart and library services. Her passion for inspiring a love of reading in her school and her inclusive gifting methods really struck a chord with the judges.
At Forest Fields, Bookstart Bear presents each child with their Bookstart Treasure Pack and Shamim makes sure that all the children have their photo taken as a keepsake of this special occasion. She also invites parents and carers to the ceremony and to take part in fun singing and story sessions.
Shamim's enthusiasm for encouraging a love of reading has clearly had a significant impact. Library card registration and library usage have increased among both parents and children of the school's nursery.
The latest Ofsted report commented that: 'The nurturing environment, activities and tasks that meet [the children's] needs effectively, and a clear focus on extending vocabulary and developing spoken language, ensure that they make good progress.'
Shamim takes her Forest Fields nursery class on a bear hunt
'Winning this award has made me more confident in my approach to early literacy. Of course this is not just a singular effort, my very dedicated team are the ones who help to make my vision a reality.'
'I love what I do because I see how much the children enjoy and gain from these gifts. For example, when we returned to look at the photos of the day - six weeks later - one child recalled the event clearly and told me which book he had and that he kept it under the bed and looked at it when the baby is asleep.'
'Bookstart allows us to deliver the most important message in the early years - the many benefits of sharing stories - and helps us to launch a partnership with parents in the early stages. This winning combination drives lifelong learning as well as our literacy standards.'