Suffolk Libraries host week of events for Bookstart Week to get young children reading

National Bookstart Week aims to get youngsters into reading. Pictured Marian Lishman Adam Fleischma

National Bookstart Week aims to get youngsters into reading. Pictured Marian Lishman Adam Fleischman during Bookstart Week 2016. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Suffolk Libraries has highlighted the importance of getting children into reading from a young age ahead of the National Bookstart Week next week.

The national week run by BookTrust takes place from June 5-11, and helps celebrate the joys and benefits of sharing books, stories and rhymes with children of an early age.

This year, the week is running on the theme of ‘Let’s Explore Outdoors’ with free copies of Everybunny Dance by Ellie Sandal available across the county’s libraries as the official book of the cause this year.

Staff at Suffolk Libraries said sharing books and stories with children from a young age was vital in helping them develop literacy skills, and had an important role to play in family life.

Krystal Vittles, development manager and children’s lead at Suffolk Libraries, said: “Supporting reading in the early years is one of the best gifts to give a child.

“It has been shown time and time again that early exposure to books and reading results in a huge head start for a child when they start school.”

Events have been lined up at libraries across the county to tie in with the outdoors theme, including a bear hunt and story time at Needham Market on Monday and a song and story session at Shotley Village Hall.

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On Tuesday, Newmarket Library has a rabbit theme, while song and story time activities will be on offer at Moreton Hall Youth Centre, Haverhill Library, Long Melford Library and Bungay Library.

The bunny fun continues at Southwold Library on the Thursday with the song and story activities continuing at Ipswich County Library, Lavenham Library and the Millennium Centre in Red Lodge.

On Friday, June 9, Clare Library is encouraging young readers to come dressed as their favourite animals.

Ms Vittles added: “The work of BookTrust is very important to library services everywhere as it helps us reach out to more families.

“We are very pleased to support Bookstart Week once again and celebrate the work that BookTrust do to encourage more people to start their children’s reading journey at the earliest possible age and hope plenty of people across Suffolk will go along to a library and find out more.”

For more details visit the Suffolk Libraries website here.