7th March 2012
Join celebrities and share 20 books in 2012
Twenty well-known faces, including HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Coleen Rooney, War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and other authors such as Jacqueline Wilson and Philip Pullman – have been joined by our very own MP, Gordon Henderson, in making a pledge to share 20 books in 2012 as part of Bookstart 20, a campaign to get the nation’s families sharing books.
Mr Henderson kicked off his pledge by sharing a story that he has written himself called ‘The Litter Angel’ with pupils at St Clements School in Eastchurch. Mr Henderson said:
“Reading is one of the most enjoyable life experiences. I remember getting into trouble as a boy when I was caught reading by torchlight after bedtime.
“Today television and computers are a temptation for children and there’s been a steady decline in book reading which is why I’ve agreed this year to share 20 books.
“If I can encourage a handful of children to share my passion for books, then it’ll be a worthy exercise.”
The reading charity Booktrust has launched Bookstart 20 to promote book sharing and to celebrate the 20th birthday of Bookstart, the world-renowned early reading scheme that gives free book packs to every baby in England.
In the last 20 years Booktrust have given out over 30 million free books and parental tips and guidance materials to 8 million children across the UK. Over 17,500 babies aged between 0-12 months received ‘Bookstart Baby Packs’ in Kent in 2010-11 and nearly 20,000 children aged 3 years received ‘My Bookstart Treasure Chests’ in Kent in 2010-11.
They are asking people to make a simple pledge: to share 20 books in 2012. The pledge postcard is available in libraries and children’s centres in England. The public can also pledge online at www.booktrust.org.uk/bookstart20.
Mr Henderson is planning on visiting local schools, nurseries and Surestart centres, however, he hopes to share books with some adults too so he will also be visiting local bookshops and libraries in Sittingbourne and Sheppey. One book Mr Henderson is keen to share is his favourite children’s book, The Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton.