Over 10,000 people have pledged their support for Bookstart
Launched in February, the campaign marks the 20th anniversary of Bookstart – our programme that gives free books to all babies and toddlers. Bookstart 20 aimed to secure 10,000 pledges from people vowing to share 20 books by the end of this year, and we have reached this four months ahead of target.
Viv Bird, chief executive of Booktrust, said:
'We are overwhelmed by this level of support, which is an indication of how much Bookstart is central to the cultural and educational life of our country. Giving books to children so they can discover the delights of reading for themselves is truly at the heart of what we believe to be important. Loved and valued both for its educational merit as well as its emphasis on strengthening parental bonding, Bookstart works hard to ensure that no child misses out, helping parents and children of all backgrounds to bond through shared reading.
We hope that your 10,000 pledges and the extraordinary messages of support we received, will demonstrate to supporters, partners and funders that even in times of austerity, perhaps especially in times of austerity, Bookstart is a vital component of a happy and thriving society.'
In addition to the many pledges from members of the public, Bookstart 20 has seen tremendous support from celebrities including Jamie Oliver, Philip Pullman, Joanna Trollope and Michael Rosen.
Our funding remains uncertain for next year, but we hope that this support will encourage key players to continue their backing for our much loved reading programme for years to come.