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Booktrust to lose funding for all bookgifting

Written by The Reader, 21st December 2010

Booktrust had notification on Friday 17 December from the Department for Education that funding for all their English bookgifting programmes  - Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up -  will be cut by 100% from 1 April 2011. (Please note that this news applies to England only.)

Booktrust chief executive Viv Bird said:

We are immensely surprised and disappointed by this decision and know that families, teachers, librarians, health visitors, our publishing partners and many others up and down the country will be sharing these feelings.

She added:

We passionately believe in these programmes and the proven extraordinary transformative power of reading for pleasure. We will be consulting with our partners and exploring alternative funding opportunities to do our utmost to make sure that every child continues to be given the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of books."

It is vital that every child learns to love reading. As we have mentioned on this blog before, a report produced by UNESCO shows that “reading for pleasure is the single best indicator of social mobility” - something that seems to be ignored by our current education system. It is key, as government programmes are chopped, that we think about what we can all do to help children we know, and children we don’t know, learn to love reading.

Read aloud to someone this Christmas: share your reading.

1 thought on “Booktrust to lose funding for all bookgifting

jane says:

Bookstart has been a wonderful initiative and it’s a terrible shame to see it cut.

While some will begin the fight back in the political arena, I’m for the immediate application of Big Soc solutions on this: many middle class families will be stuffed to the rafters with unread children’s books, many parents of now grown-up children have no one to read to. I’d like a national scheme to spread those two very different types of resources around, and public libraries offer an infrastructure to do it.

Do you already do anything like this?

write in and let us know … we want good examples…

Meanwhile, Our Read will be giving away 50,000 books in March 2011. Keep watching here for details.

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