Bookstart, part of BookTrust, gifts free books to all children to inspire in them a love of reading and to help families read together. This happens in two stages. Every child is entitled to receive a Bookstart Baby Pack (for ages 0-12 months) and a Bookstart Treasure Bag (for 3 - 4 year olds). Packs are given to families by their Health Visitor. 

If English is not your first language, you may be able to get a book in another language as part of your Bookstart packs and there is also guidance available in certain languages. Please ask your Health Visitor. 

A set amount of packs and resources for children with additional needs is given to each local authority. Ask your Health Visitor about Bookshine (for children who are deaf), Booktouch (for children who are blind or partially sighted) and Bookstart Star (for children with conditions affecting their fine motor skills). Bookstart is for every child, so families are entitled to any of these packs in addition to the two standard Bookstart packs.    

Bookstart bear club and bear's reading adventure

The Bookstart Bear Club is another free initiative available across Swindon Libraries. It encourages and rewards young families for regular library visiting and book-borrowing. 

Children are given a passport in which paw print stamps are collected whenever they visit the library. When they have collected six paw print stamps they will be rewarded with a certificate. There are 10 certificates to collect, the last one being a Golden Certificate. 

When the Golden Certificate is collected, the child is automatically given a Bear’s Reading Adventure sticker story book and a bookmark. This time, the child comes back to the library to collect the paw stamps on the bookmark and corresponding stickers. 

Further information

Bookstart is run by Booktrust - an independent charity - and funded by the Department for Education and sponsorship from more than 25 children's publishers.

For more details please see the Bookstart website  or contact: 

Ewa Salik
Swindon Bookstart Co-ordinator
Tel: 07467 440705

Last updated: 07 September 2016. Was this information helpful?

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