Bookstart in Northern Ireland

It was announced in March 2015 that NI government funding would be cut and BookTrust are looking for alternative partners.

Northern Ireland is now the only UK region without a bookgifting scheme, but we are working hard to find alternative funding to ensure that NI children and families do not miss out on the life-changing benefits that books can bring.

Arts Council NI Stories Tours

Arts council stories tour montageIn partnership with Arts Council NI, BookTrust brings early years authors to Northern Ireland for visits at nurseries, schools and arts centres. Previous tours have featured Julia Donaldson, Nick Sharratt, Petr Horácek, Chris Haughton, Ed Vere, Steven Lenton and Ireland's Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch.

The latest news from Bookstart NI

National Bookstart Week 2017 

NI National Bookstart WeekThis year, National Bookstart Week was extra special as we celebrated 25 years of helping families enjoy reading together through the Bookstart programme.

The theme for this year was Let’s Explore Outdoors! and the chosen book was Everybunny Dance! by Ellie Sandall - a lovely tale of friendship between a warren of musical bunnies and a friendly fox.

The Northern Ireland launch event on 5 June was held at Streamvale Farm in conjunction with Fane Street Nursery School and Belfast Harbour.

Staff, parents and children gathered in the Swallows Barn for singing and dancing as children were read the Everybunny Dance! story and took part in a fun-filled rhyme session led by a local librarian.

Much to their delight, the children then visited Pets Corner, where they got to cuddle Streamvale’s resident rabbits!

In partnership with Libraries NI and Sure Starts across Northern Ireland, 4,000 copies of Everybunny Dance! were gifted to children at Rhythm & Rhyme sessions.

BookTrust NI partners with SONI to deliver Bookstart Baby

SONI NI event with Polly Poppet A new partnership between BookTrust NI and SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) will see 1,000 local babies receive Bookstart packs. The partnership will ensure that Bookstart Baby can be gifted free to Sure Start families in the Armagh and Dungannon areas.

Liz Canning, BookTrust NI Manager, said: 'We at BookTrust NI are delighted to be working in conjunction with SONI. This partnership will benefit families in the Armagh area, helping get their babies started on their reading journey and towards a lifelong love of books and stories.'

Children's entertainer Polly Poppet joined the celebrations at the new venture's launch at Armagh City Library.

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Through our reader development programmes and work as an arts organisation, BookTrust in Northern Ireland makes a positive impact on children, families and local communities.

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Find out where our Bookstart programme has inspired other national and regional early years bookgifting schemes in the past two decades.