North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson is supporting World Book Day’s national ‘Share a Story’ campaign, encouraging parents and carers to read with their children for ten minutes a day.
World Book Day reaches 15 million children and young people with £1 book tokens distributed to over 45,000 educational establishments in the UK and Ireland. One in four children (one in three for those on free school meals) said the book they bought with their 2016 £1 World Book Day book token was the first book they have had of their own.
Every year, World Book Daycreates bespoke £1 books for children and young adults across the UK and Ireland, to promote the magic of books, the power of imagination and the importance of reading. This year the campaign is urging parents and carers to take ten minutes to ‘share a story’ with their children, to revive reading as a national pastime.
As the former Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries, Justin has been very supportive of a wide-range of projects designed to increase the number of young people reading for pleasure.
The North Swindon MP launches the Summer Reading Challenge every year in Parliament and was thrilled this year to see more children than ever before sign up to read for fun.
The Challenge is designed to address the very important concern that during the summer holidays, children can lose gains made in their reading abilities by not reading anything over the break. Through the fun challenge, they can read any book they like and this aids in their progress. Justin has long been a supporter of the challenge, reminding children at the event of his time as a student librarian.
A total of 2,638 children took up the challenge, with 1,596 completing it – an increase of 10% from last year. Over the summer 91,548 children’s books were issued and 701 children joined the library as new members.
Last year Justin was delighted to join pupils from Haydonleigh Primary School to open the school’s new Library Bus and was also pleased to bring with him £300 worth of book vouchers which he had received from WH Smith for the pupils to spend on brand new books for the bus.
The North Swindon MP also regularly meets with Alison Tarrant from the School Library Association to discuss a number of issues relating to school libraries.
Based at Kembrey Park in Swindon, the School Library Association (SLA) is committed to supporting everyone involved with school libraries, promoting high quality reading and learning opportunities for all. The organisation provides advice and training for school librarians as well as advocating on behalf of libraries in school.
As part of the this year’s World Book Day, every child in Swindon will be given a £1 book token which they can take to a bookshop or supermarket to get their free World Book Day book (or £1 off any full price book that takes their fancy).
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “I hope parents, grandparents and carers in Swindon will take time to read for ten minutes with their children on World Book Day, and every day after. Sharing stories together, at home or school, in the library or in the park, on a bus or train – anywhere, anytime – for just ten minutes a day has long-lasting effects on a child’s future.”