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Happy 1st Birthday Better Start Imagine

As the country celebrates National Storytelling Week, we are celebrating the first birthday of our free book-gifting scheme, Better Start Imagine.

A special party was held for families with children under four, with special guests including the Regional Director of the Dollywood UK Foundation, which is part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Families joined the Better Start Imagine team to celebrate and join in the fun and share a very special Better Start Imagine cake. Movers and Shakers got everyone moving and shaking with Incy Wincy Spider, The Grand Old Duke of York, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and even a special song about Dolly Parton!

BCB Radio and the Telegraph and Argus also joined the fun, and BCB Radio broadcast live from the event. Listen here from 7 minutes 28 seconds.

More than 1,200 babies have been signed up to Better Start Imagine’s free book giving scheme

Better Start Imagine provides a free book per month to every child, born after January 1, 2016 in the Better Start Bradford area – Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton – until their fourth birthday, to support literacy skills development.

Since January last year, more than 1,200 babies have been signed up to the scheme and have received books featuring a wealth of popular characters including Peter Rabbit, Spot the Dog, Meg and Mog, the Funnybones and Peppa Pig. Each book is carefully selected and designed to suit the age of the child.

Better Start Imagine builds upon the success of a similar scheme in Canterbury, Bradford, and is being delivered by BHT Early Education and Training.

It’s never too early to start reading to children

Leanne Souster, Better Start Imagine Coordinator, BHT Early Education and Training, said: “It’s to upskill in literacy. We want to get the message out there that it’s never too early to start reading to children.

“The younger that children are introduced to books, it becomes part of their routine instead of becoming a chore.

“We have had an amazing response in the first year of running the scheme and we are really pleased with the numbers of babies already signed up.

“The Better Start Imagine team also have regular rhyme time sessions and storytelling at local libraries and children’s centres, that are open to everyone with families under four.

“Some of the early books that Dolly gifts are nursery rhymes so when they are being delivered that month, we do focus rhymes around that book.

“Parents absolutely love it. Some of the very first children we signed up, they are just about ready to turn two this year, so they are expecting them coming through the post now.”


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