Investing in the futures of our children

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Better Start Imagine

Better Start Imagine

Providing free books to children under four in our area, to help develop language and literacy skills

Better Start Imagine will provide free books to families with children under four, to help them read with their child and develop their language and literacy skills. Every child born in the Better Start Bradford area after 1 January 2016 can be signed up to the scheme, and receive a book each month until their fourth birthday (from December 2016). Evaluation from a similar scheme in the Canterbury area of Bradford shows it works in encouraging reading and book-related activities by families[i].

Who will benefit? Children living in our area who were born on or after 1 January 2016, up to their fourth birthday. Check if you’re in our area using our postcode checker.

When is it delivered? Children will be posted books monthly, from December 2016.

Who delivers it? Local organisation BHT Early Education and Training has been commissioned by Better Start Bradford to deliver the project.

How do families register? Families can download a form here or register online here.

More info:

Better Start Imagine is part of the international Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Michaela Howell, programme director of Better Start Bradford, says: “We want to make sure children in our part of Bradford and beyond have the best possible start in life, and a big part of that is enabling them to be imaginative and creative, and developing important literacy skills. For that to happen, we are working to make sure families have books in their homes to enjoy with their children.”

Read Mona’s story here

Better Start Imagine is one of more than 20 projects being provided by Better Start Bradford for pregnant women and families with children under four in Little Horton, Bowling and Barkerend and Bradford Moor.

[i] Ridzi, F., Sylvia, M.R., Singh, S. (2014) The Imagination Library Program: Increasing Parental Reading through Book Distribution, Reading Psychology, 35(6), pp.548-576; see also Samiei, S., Bush, A.J., Sell, M., Imig, D. (2015) Examining the Association Between the Imagination Library Early Childhood Literacy Program and Kindergarten Readiness, Reading Psychology, pp.601-626.