Government Announces £1.05 million for Bookbug Programme
The Scottish Government today announced funding of £1.05 million to Scottish Book Trust to enable it to continue its highly successful Bookbug early years book sharing programme in 2011-12. The Bookbug programme distributes 240,000 free packs of books to young children and runs free Bookbug song and rhyme sessions in libraries and other venues all over Scotland. It also promotes best practice for early years professionals in Scotland and provides valuable support to parents encouraging them to share books. The pledge of continued funding to the Bookbug programme will ensure that despite tough economic circumstances, young children in Scotland will not lose out these vital early years experiences. Announcing the funding today, Children's Minister Adam Ingram said:"Evidence shows that reading with a child can make a real difference to their development and help lay strong foundations for their future learning. By helping our children enjoy reading during those early years we can also develop a love of books which can last a lifetime.We want to maintain [Bookbug’s] good work and ensure that despite the tough economic times facing us all - and regardless of what decisions are taken over equivalent programmes in England - that we continue to do what we can with Scottish Book Trust to promote and encourage reading among our children."
The provision of the funding was announced following the passing of the Scottish Government's budget for next year. Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:"We recognise the valuable contribution Scottish Book Trust is making through its Bookbug programme. As well as being great fun for children, it is helping to equip them with the literacy and creative skills they need to succeed. By instilling an early love of books and reading, it is also helping to inspire our next generation of writers and grow Scotland's rich literary landscape."
Marc Lambert, CEO of the Scottish Book Trust, said:"The renewal of Scottish Government support for this universal programme is seriously brilliant news for all children, families and carers right across the length and breadth of Scotland. It will also be hugely welcomed by library services, NHS Health Visitors, educators and all those who recognise that investment in Early Years represents a vital and effective contribution to individual lives, society as a whole, and the future of this country.”