Sunday, December 26, 2010

Booktrust, a hopeful report

Confused message...or change of heart?
Last week Booktrust was told by the Department for Education that funding for bookgifting programmes in England - Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up - would be cut by 100% from 1 April 2011.
But Booktrust chief executive Viv Bird told BBC News that, in a conversation on Sunday morning, Education Secretary Michael Gove had "committed his support for Booktrust book-gifting programmes so that every child will continue to have access to the gift of a book".
She said that the charity would hold talks with the government in the new year about the level of continued public funding.
A joint statement from the DfE and Booktrust said the department would "continue to fund Booktrust book-gifting programmes in the future".
It said: "Although the current contract will end in April, the department are talking to Booktrust about how to develop a new programme which will ensure that every child can enjoy the gift of books at crucial moments in their lives while ensuring we develop an even more effective way of supporting the most disadvantaged families to read together."
The book-gifting schemes have previously been universal, including families that can afford to buy books, because the charity says targeted programmes struggle to reach all families most in need.
Booktrust says that, through support by publishing companies, it has been able to generate another £4 for every £1 of government money.

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