Mount Pleasant actress and Loose Women presenter Sally Lindsay offers tips and advice to encourages parents and carers to spend time reading for pleasure with their children.
Now in its eighth year, Booktime aims to inspire a lifelong love of reading and this year marks a very special milestone for the charity initiative with its 10 millionth book being gifted to a child.
During this school term and next, Booktime will give two free books to 765,000 reception-aged children in England and Wales. This year’s books for children in England are Charlie and Lola’s But Excuse Me That is My Book, published by Puffin, and Tom’s Mad Mop, from the Bug Club series by Pearson UK, part of Pearson's education business.
Four to five-year-olds in Wales will receive Charlie and Lola’s But Excuse Me That is My Book as well as a Welsh language title. In addition, every primary school and library can also access free guidance and activity sheets on the Booktime website www.booktime.org.uk, with extra resources for libraries and parents also available.
It is widely recognised that one of the most important things a parent can do to help their children learn is to read with them and inspire a love of reading and books. But, recent research has revealed that up to one third of children are not read bedtime stories, and only 13% of parents read to their children every night.
Actress Sally Lindsay commented: “My love of books shaped who I became, and the world of adventure and imagination probably helped me become an actress.
“I believe books have trained me for life, and prepared me for motherhood in the best possible way.”
Given digital technology is becoming more dominant in the family home, this year also marks the first time, children, together with their parents and carers, can log onto the Booktime website www.booktime.org.uk for free e-books to read online from Pearson. They will also be able to listen to the books being read aloud as well as access free games and activities.
To further encourage reading for pleasure among older primary school children at a time when their interest in books can lapse, Pearson, the Pearson Foundation and Booktrust can announce that schools can now sign up to take part in Read for My School this academic year - a free national schools’ reading competition which will see over 100,000 books donated to schools.