Project information

Bookstart Corner

Book Trust is the UK’s leading children’s reading charity. Reading with your children radically enhances their long term educational attainment, and supports family bonding. Bookstart Corner enables the most vulnerable families to engage with reading and become more involved with local services.

April 2016 - March 2018

Charity information

Book Trust

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  • Need


    1 in 3 children in the UK grow up in a house without any books. A quarter of all children leave primary school without basic reading skills, rising to 40% in poorer households. 3.5 million children grow up in poverty in the UK. These children rarely catch up educationally, and these cycles of poverty can last for generations. Through Bookstart Corner we aim to work with 2500 disadvantaged families, providing intensive support to better their life chances.


    Children who are read to, for just 10 minutes every day, are 12 months further ahead by the time they get to school, and that gap continues to widen. Reading enjoyment is more important for a child’s educational success than his/her family’s socio-economic status. 89% of parents engaged through Bookstart Corner use the resources regularly. 85% of parents report more confidence around reading and sharing stories. 65% read more with their child.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To encourage and enable parents and carers to read regularly to their children.


    » The early years practitioner is trained online to deliver the sessions effectively.
    » A pack of appropriate books, finger puppets , guidance and resources are delivered.
    » The early years practitioner models the technique and use of the resources through reading together sessions.
    » The early years practitioner encourages the family’s daily engagement through 4 repeat visits and sessions.

    Parents and carers report increased regular reading with their child, and confidence and knowledge around doing this.

    Aim 2

    To increase children’s engagement with and enjoyment of stories and reading.


    » Parents/carers engage with finger puppets and other techniques to enhance reading and storytelling.
    » Parents/carers share stories and books regularly with their children.

    Parents and practitioners report the child’s increased enjoyment and interest in reading and story telling.

    Aim 3

    To increase family engagement with local services and the community.


    » The early years practitioner encourages families to engage with libraries, children’s centres and other similar services.
    » Sessions at Children’s Centres are built into the programme.

    Parents and practitioners report increased engagement with local services and the community.

  • Impact


    The project will impact on the lifestyle, well-being, community integration and opportunities of vulnerable and disadvantaged families. It will increase parent/child engagement and bonding; develop children’s interest in and enjoyment of reading and sharing, preparing them for the nursery environment; and encourage involvement of the family with supportive local services, including the 2 year old nursery entitlement. Success will be measured against previous dramatic impact results.


    Risks include lack of engagement by children’s centres with families new to them, but the project is an ideal unthreatening mechanism to support visits to vulnerable disengaged families, and is valued for this by children centres. Families may not remain engaged, but the 4 home-visits are effective in encouraging sustained commitment. Through families visiting children centres and libraries during the project, the risk is reduced of a lack of onward support after the project ends.


    Donors will receive our quarterly newsletter to update them on the project’s progress, and will receive a year end report (once evaluation is complete) on target numbers and outcome measures.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Packs Packs for 2500 families
      £5,000 Project delivery Project delivery, logistics, staff support
  • Background


    Bookstart Corner takes place through children’s centres across England. This project will focus on London and one major metropolitan district in each of the other 8 English regions, reaching 2500 families.


    Children's Centres target vulnerable families with children aged 12-24 months who have been referred to them from health, social services and other local services and professionals, or who match specific disadvantage criteria that include low income, poor housing, long standing disability or illness, and lone parents.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Book Trust is the only national literacy charity engaged with every Children’s Centre in the country through our universal Bookstart offer. Bookstart Corner specifically enhances this for hard to reach and disadvantaged families. Our relationship with publishers over 90 years, alongside our reach and long-standing relationship with delivery partners, enables us to run highly valued and very cost-effective programmes.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nicole Walker, Head Of Early Years Programmes

    Nicole has overall responsibility for the programme including ensuring appropriate human resource are allocated.

    Jennifer Luk, Project Manager Bookstart Corner

    Jen manages the programme, developing resources and the delivery based on research and evaluation to ensure it meets the changing needs of families.

    Laura Myers, Project Co-Ordinator Bookstart Corner

    Laura is first point of contact, oversees resource delivery, and assists centres in delivering the programme to the highest quality for families.

    Kelly Walsh, Head Of Research

    Kelly oversees research and evaluation of Book Trust programmes to ensure they are appropriately evidenced and impact is accurately measured.