BookTrust and Belfast Harbour launch this year’s Babies Need Books project

BookTrust Northern Ireland launched its annual partnership with Belfast Harbour supporting their Babies Need Books project in Belfast Sure Starts.

Over the last four years BookTrust and Belfast Harbour have worked together to provide 3,300 Bookstart Baby packs for families in Belfast through local Sure Starts, and this year will reach a further 1,000 families who need them the most.

At an event held at Smile Sure Start, Duncairn Gardens, parents and babies were treated to an entertaining morning of songs and rhymes from interactive storytellers ‘A Place to Wonder’. The babies were delighted with sounds, sights and scents as they had a bird themed session and each took home their very own pack of books to share with their families (the same as those which will be distributed over the coming months).

Each Bookstart pack contains two hardback books, a rhyme sheet and guidance for parents on reading with your baby. Bookstart Baby packs start children on their reading journey as early as possible, by supporting babies and families to experience the joy of reading and all its benefits.

Parents were thrilled to receive the Bookstart Baby pack with one of the mothers commenting on her daughter receiving the books:

“Loves the wee books she got.  She loves looking at the pictures and I would never have thought of getting books for her so young”

Liz Canning, Head of BookTrust NI said,

“It is always such a joy to watch parents, carers and babies bonding together over books as they start their reading journey. The ongoing partnership with Belfast Harbour means we are able to continue our work to get children reading across Northern Ireland. We can’t wait to reach even more kids next year!”

Jenni Barkley, Belfast Harbour’s Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager, also commented:

“It is a pleasure to support BookTrust who run vital projects for the community. Literacy is an essential part of a child’s development and it is so important to instil story time for both the parents and child. The Booksmart pack enables parents to invest in their children’s development which will ultimately improve language and cognitive advancement. And most importantly, enjoy some quality time with their little one.”