Local libraries invite you to celebrate Bookstart 20

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Libraries in Newtownabbey are taking part in Libraries NI’s programme of events to celebrate Bookstart 20 which runs from Monday, June 11 to Saturday, June 16.

In 2012, Bookstart is celebrating 20 years of the world-renowned reading programme which gifts free books to children aged 0 to 4 years. Since Bookstart began in 1992, an impressive 30 million free books have been gifted.

Bookstart exists to give every child a flying start in life, and so is asking for the support of everyone to help secure it for future generations. Parents/carers can be a part of the Bookstart 20th year celebrations by making a simple pledge - namely, to share 20 books in 2012.

Making the pledge is a simple way for people to get into the habit of reading with their children and show their support for Bookstart. Pledge cards are available in all libraries and mobile libraries throughout Northern Ireland. So call into your local library and find out more today.

The routine of sharing books, stories, songs and rhymes with babies helps to build pre-literacy skills as well as providing a unique opportunity for parents and carers to build a strong and loving bond with their children.

Libraries NI is working with Booktrust to promote book sharing and to celebrate the 20th birthday of Bookstart and libraries in Newtownabbey will be holding ‘party-themed’ Rhythm and Rhyme sessions for young children during National Bookstart Week.

These ‘party-themed’ Rhythm and Rhyme sessions will take place in Ballyclare Library at School Street on Monday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 13 at 10am, and at Glengormley Library, Carnmoney Road, on Monday, June 11 at 10.30am and again at 11.30am. Rathcoole Library at Rosslea Way will hold its session on Saturday, June 16 at 11am.

Valerie Christie, Children’s Services Manager with Libraries NI, explained: “Rhythm and Rhyme sessions are held regularly in libraries across Northern Ireland and are always a hit with children and families allowing them to share stories, songs and rhymes.

“Libraries NI is keen to support the work of Bookstart and decided to celebrate 20 years of Bookstart with a programme of Rhythm and Rhyme events giving parents/carers the ideal opportunity to introduce their children to the wonder of books in a free and fun way.”

For more information go to www.bookstart.org.uk.