BookTrust launches Time to Read campaign to help 740,000 children start school
Published on: 16 September 2020
BookTrust's fifth annual Time to Read campaign has launched today, aiming to get children and families reading together.
From September to January 2021, BookTrust will reach 740,000 children by sending a free Time to Read pack to every reception child in England and every primary one child in Northern Ireland.
Each pack contains a copy of the hilarious story The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore, alongside top tips about how to get reading anytime and anywhere and creative ideas for sharing stories.
The pack aims to spark children’s imagination, help improve their language and listening, and help them develop more practical skills such as making new friends and dealing with change.
Reading together regularly as a family can also create a safe space for children to express themselves, something that children might be especially in need of following the coronavirus outbreak.
As children start school for the first time, learning to read and tasks from school can sometimes be prioritised over reading for fun. But Time to Read aims to help families relax and continue reading at this critical moment in their lives.
The Time to Read campaign will also share resources with teachers and support for libraries to help get children excited about reading.
And from 19-25 October, BookTrust will be sharing storytime videos and top tips online, plus book recommendations to help families find their next favourite story.
Celebrating the joy of reading
'We know that families have faced many challenges these past few months, adjusting to a different way of life with schools, nurseries and libraries being closed,' said BookTrust's Chief Executive Diana Gerald.
'However, many parents and carers have told us that they have found more time to read and enjoy stories with their children during lockdown.
'Sharing a book is about so much more than simply reading a story together. It creates a wonderful closeness, and it’s also an opportunity to talk about the themes in the book, whether that’s starting a new adventure, making friends, or simply learning to be brave.
'It is so easy to stop the bedtime story or other shared reading once children can read for themselves, but that magical time doesn’t just help engage children in stories and reading; it also relaxes them, helps them understand the world around them, and often stimulates important conversations about what’s going on in their lives.
'We hope that Time to Read will encourage families to enjoy the benefits of reading together as their children adjust to new routines.'
And Deborah Peck, Development Officer for Newham Libraries, said: 'We love to encourage parents to read with their children.
'Sadly, this year we can’t do it in person so our lovely library staff will be connecting with our parents and children virtually, helping parents and children see that’s there’s no right way to read a book.
'Using a variety of voices, styles and experience our library teams will read this year's Time to Read book and share tips on reading aloud, beamed straight into homes via the schools. A familiar book, an enthusiastic parent and a friendly librarian - what better combination to encourage reading this autumn?'
Looking for something fun as a family? Enjoy storytime with our free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.