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Better Start Imagine reaches 2,000 babies

Over 2,000 babies are now receiving a free book every month as part of Better Start Bradford’s free book giving project, Better Start Imagine.

The scheme provides a free book per month to every child, born after 1 January 2016, in the Better Start Bradford area (Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton areas of Bradford) until their fourth birthday, to help support literacy skills development and bonding with your baby.

So far 2,062 babies have been signed up and have received books including ‘Grumpy Frog’, ‘How to Bath your little Dinosaur’, ‘Loo Queue’ and ‘Chapatti Moon’ by a wealth of popular children’s authors including Tony Ross, Raymond Briggs, Beatrix Potter, Quentin Blake and Shirley Hughes.

The Better Start Imagine project builds upon the previous successful delivery of a similar scheme in the Canterbury area of Bradford. The project is being delivered by BHT Early Education and Training as part of the international Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Better Start Bradford is funded by the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.

It’s never too early to start sharing books with your baby

Leanne Souster, Better Start Imagine Coordinator, BHT Early Education and Training, said: “I am thrilled so many babies and children are signed up to this great project and are receiving these free wonderful books through the post each month. Families love receiving them and it’s become part of their daily routine to look, read and share the books as well as to wait for them being delivered.

“I can’t express enough that it’s never too early to start sharing books with your baby. Not only does it help with early language development, but it’s a nice time to bond.”

Reading to your babies is one of the most important things you can do with them.

Jodie Pedley, mum to Ethan, one, said: “I think reading to your babies is one of the most important things you can do with them. Not only does looking at books help teach them, reading is a special time between the two of you as it promotes the closeness between you and your child, and it fuels their imagination.”

Michaela Howell, programme director of National Lottery funded, Better Start Bradford, said: “Better Start Imagine continues to grow from strength to strength. It is great to see that local families are really embracing the importance of reading books to their children. Alongside boosting their language and communication skills, it is a great opportunity for mums and dads to spend one-to-one time bonding with their child.”

Better Start Bradford is part of the National Lottery funded A Better Start programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. A Better Start works with families so they play an active part in deciding on and designing the services and support they get so they can give their babies and very young children the best possible start in life. It is one of five major programmes set up by the Big Lottery Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier.

To find out more about Better Start Imagine please visit www.betterstartbradford.org.uk

To find out more about upcoming Better Start Imagine activities visit www.bhtearlyed.org.uk

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