The Bookstart 20 section of the Booktrust website is now live. Rosemary Clarke, Director of Bookstart, invites you to make your online pledge and join the celebrities who've already shown their support.
The media launch of our Bookstart 20 campaign starts today with the unveiling of the new Bookstart 20 section of the Booktrust website. You can take a look at the splendid array of the first 20 VIPs who have pledged to share 20 books in 2012, including Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.
Make sure you add your pledge, and if you upload a photo, you can join our pledge wall too.
Not only that, but our Bookstart Bear will be keeping a running total of our supporters with the 'pledgeometer' – let's see how many we can get!
How I'm getting involved
My family is certainly doing our bit, with nannie and grandada making a pledge for each of our grandchildren – Maia, aged four and three-quarters; Isabel, thirteen months; and Arlo Patrick, aged four months.
Their parents are making the pledge too, so by my reckoning that is 80 books per child – it's a good job they love stories and we have 'til the end of the year to do it!
Publishers back Bookstart 20
It is tremendously important that the campaign is a great success, so I have spent the last week talking to our publisher supporters and getting them on board too. They will be pledging online and asking authors and illustrators to sign up too. Many will be using their websites to spread the word about Bookstart 20 and encourage the public, as well as professionals, to make their pledge.
I've also just heard from Jonathan Douglas, CEO of the National Literacy Trust and long-time supporter of Bookstart – going right back to the early days. Jonathan pledged NLT support and gave us this wonderful quote;
Bookstart is a radically democratic statement of the importance of reading.
Reading is a pleasure but also a right, enabling children to fulfil their potential. So everyone needs to read and every child deserves books.
Bookstart is essentially the foundation of a fairer society.
Thanks very much Jonathan – spot on!
Finally, later today I will tweet for the first time! I'm really not too sure about this new-fangled stuff but I'll will give it a go; I guess it is a good way to keep us all in touch with how the campaign progresses. You can follow me on @rosemary_clarke. For more information about the campaign, follow Booktrust on Twitter and keep an eye on the hashtag #bookstart20
Best wishes and make your pledge!