Andrew Mitchell MP has visited Sutton Coldfield Library to launch the Book Trust’s ‘Time to Read’ campaign.
Book Trust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. The charity recently surveyed 3,000 parents of 4-11 year olds and 1,000 8-11 year olds. The results of the survey indicated that over a third of parents worry about their child’s mental health at least once a week.
Book Trust’s ‘Time to Read’ campaign is designed to encourage families to use books as a way of exploring the issues that have an impact on wellbeing and mental health. The campaign also highlights the way in which reading can help tackle anxiety and loneliness.
Book Trust will be gifting every Reception aged child in England the book ‘The Cave’ by Rob Hodgson as part of the campaign.
The campaign is running alongside the Mayor’s ‘Reading for Pleasure’ Challenge which is designed to stimulate interest and encourage pupils’ love for reading.
Andrew was joined in the library by Zoe Toft, Chair of Friends Of Libraries In Our Sutton Coldfield (FOLIO Sutton Coldfield). He praised her for the work that she does to encourage reading in the Royal Town.
Andrew Mitchell said:
“I am delighted to support Book Trust’s Time to Read campaign locally in our Royal Town. Sharing a book is a brilliant way to bond with children and support their learning. It can also hugely benefit their mental health and wellbeing. Reading together provides important one-to-one time, and allows parents to explore new situations, emotions and perspectives with their children, even at a very young age.
I hope parents, grandparents and carers across the Royal Town will take time to read The Cave with their children over the coming weeks. I would also encourage parents to bring their children to visit their local library to continue to share stories together. Reading together for even ten minutes a day has long-lasting effects on a child’s future.”
Zoe Toft, Chair of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield, said:
"Booktrust's 'Time to Read' campaign is so important, not least because it really encourages families to read with their children, continuing even once they’ve reached primary school or can read on their own. Time sharing stories is always time well spent - whether that's at home or in the library. In addition to a fantastic range of picture books and children's fiction, Sutton Coldfield Library has a special section for parents looking for advice and support on a range of parenting issues, including children's mental health. It's just another example of how libraries can offer lifelines at times of need, as well as being great places to go for enjoyment and learning."