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Give A Child The Gift Of Reading

What better gift for a child this Christmas than the ability to read?

Libraries throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf are supporting a pioneering initiative to supply free books to children from as early an age as possible.

Bookstart provides a free pack of books to every baby in the UK, to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life.

Run as a joint partnership between the Council and Health Service, every child in Rhondda Cynon Taf is entitled to receive a free Bookstart pack from their health visitor on their child's nine-month health check. They receive a second Early Years pack at the 18-month health check.

Bookstart is funded by the Welsh Government and inspires a love of reading that will give them a flying start in life.

Along with free books, there is support and guidance for adults, an opportunity to engage with other families at vibrant and fun community events and a place to find everything you need to share books, stories and rhymes online.

Leanne Banks from Maerdy knows only too well how beneficial the scheme is, because not only is she a Library Assistant, but her two-year-old son Lewis loves picture books and stories thanks to Bookstart.

“The Bookstart scheme is second to none and the popularity of it has escalated over the years,” explained Leanne who works at Aberdare Library.

“It allows young children the opportunity have access to a whole range of books and has an very positive effect on their early development.

“Children who follow Bookstart usually have far better concentration levels by the time they reach school which goes to show how successful it is.

“If the book includes photos of wheels then he’s happy. Books featuring trucks, tractors, motorbikes or cars are enough to capture his attention. Maybe it’s a sign that we have a future Formula One driver in the family!”

For further details about Bookstart visit your local library or visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk

Membership of all Rhondda Cynon Taf's libraries is free and everyone living or working within the County Borough is welcome to join.

Photograph https://www.hachettechildrens.co.uk/