Bookbug Outreach Programme

In 2012 the Scottish Government funded Scottish Book Trust to develop and roll out an Early Years Outreach Programme. The Outreach Programme was developed to ensure that the messages of the universal Bookbug programme (free bags of books for every child and free Bookbug Sessions in libraries and other community venues) were reaching all families.

There are many reasons why parents or carers may not feel able to share books, songs and rhymes with their children. Some don’t know the words or understand why it’s important. Others may lack the confidence or feel self-conscious reading and singing with their child. Some families are living in crisis or isolation, or have low levels of literacy or other additional support needs to manage.

The aim of the Outreach Programme is to give staff and volunteers working with families the skills and knowledge to share Bookbug’s key messages, activities and resources in an accessible way. This will hopefully give parents and carers confidence in singing, rhyming and book sharing – activities which will provide more opportunities for family bonding and also build on children’s language, literacy and social skills.

Following an initial four-year roll-out period, a range of free training is now available across all 32 local authorities in Scotland. We have courses suitable for any professional working across the early years, from health, education and social work, to libraries and many third-sector partners. This also includes training for volunteers who work with families.

At the heart of the Outreach Programme is Bookbug for the Home, a course for those working one-to-one with families, either in their own homes or in small community settings. Find out about the impact of Bookbug for the Home on our recently updated evaluation page, which includes an illustrated Executive Summary and support from Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health.