Booktrust had notification on Friday 17 December from the Department for Education that funding for all their English bookgifting programmes – Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up – will be cut by 100% from 1 April 2011. (Please note that this news applies to England only.)
Booktrust chief executive Viv Bird said:
We are immensely surprised and disappointed by this decision and know that families, teachers, librarians, health visitors, our publishing partners and many others up and down the country will be sharing these feelings.
We passionately believe in these programmes and the proven extraordinary transformative power of reading for pleasure. We will be consulting with our partners and exploring alternative funding opportunities to do our utmost to make sure that every child continues to be given the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of books.”
It is vital that every child learns to love reading. As we have mentioned on this blog before, a report produced by UNESCO shows that “reading for pleasure is the single best indicator of social mobility” – something that seems to be ignored by our current education system. It is key, as government programmes are chopped, that we think about what we can all do to help children we know, and children we don’t know, learn to love reading.
Read aloud to someone this Christmas: share your reading.