Rosemary Clarke's blog: Plans for 'Bookstart 20'

Rosemary Clarke

Posted November 29, 2011 by Rosemary Clarke

Rosemary Clarke MBE, 1954-2013, was Booktrust's Director of Programmes.
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Rosemary Clarke's blog: Plans for 'Bookstart 20'

Rosemary Clarke, Director of Bookstart and Bookgifting, unveils some exciting plans for celebrating Bookstart's 20th birthday next year. Find out how you can get involved, and read other news.


20 years of Bookstart: 1992–2012

Bookstart began in Birmingham in 1992 with just 300 babies, and look how we have grown! 20 years on, Bookstart is committed to supporting every child in the country on their reading journey – because a love of books really is a gift for life.

Bookstart 20 is our birthday celebration that will look back at the huge achievements of Bookstart, and ask how can we safeguard the programme for another 20 years.

We intend to celebrate with events throughout the year, including National Bookstart Week (11–17 June 2012) and the International IBBY Conference, coming to London in August.

We aim to make this campaign relevant, inclusive and fun so that it works for families as well as for a media campaign to boost awareness of Bookstart.  

There are lots of opportunities to take part. For instance, we want you to share your memories of Bookstart – right from the very beginning, through all the ups and downs, the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the last 20 years. Please send in your stories to 
Bookstart Bear 20th birthdayThe campaign will launch in January with the Bookstart 20 birthday pledge. For this, we will provide postcards for parents (and others) to send to Book Trust, pledging to share at least 20 books in 2012. We will share these pledges on our website, and the thousands and thousands of postcards will become a super advocacy tool to work alongside the celebrities who we are inviting to join the campaign.
There will be lots of exciting ideas and activities for you to share with your families. For example, in January we will be calling for 20 newborn babies to join us so we can follow the first year of their reading journey. Perhaps you could find 20 new babies in your own local authority? It’s worth thinking about.


2012 is a critically important year for the future of Bookstart, so get your thinking caps on!

Bookstart Bear Club: a hit in libraries

The Bookstart Bear Club is becoming a huge success; it is loved by children, families and librarians as it enriches the experience of being an active library member. To date, 92 local authorities have joined and requested 2,934 packs – enough for 176,040 children.


Each child earns special pawprint stamps for activities, such as visiting the library, borrowing or returning a book, or attending a Rhymetime event. Children who collect six stamps are rewarded with a certificate, and there are ten to collect. This means that 60 activities are needed to complete the Club. The 10th certificate is particularly splendid with a special gold embossed effect.


Check back soon on this website to find out which local authorities have signed up so far.


Watch a short film about Bookstart from the scheme in NE Lincolnshire

Do check out this wonderful film from the Bookstart scheme in North East Lincolnshire. It features the coordinator, the super Sue Wink, as well as a great reception teacher who talks about how to make books exciting. 



Library news just in!

This exciting email just arrived from Kath Navratil, the Bookstart Regional Manager for South West England:




Have a good month




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