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Press release: Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills joins gifting at local school

Families across Scotland receive free books

Three children standing in school uniforms holding book bags from Scottish Book Trust

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley Anne Sommerville, today (Friday 19 November) joined P2 pupils at Crossford Primary School in Dunfermline as they received their Read Write Count bags. During Book Week Scotland, free books are gifted to P1-P3 pupils through Bookbug and Read Write Count bags.

Scottish Book Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with Scottish Government and Education Scotland to devise and deliver this year's bags. In total, 442,200 free books will be gifted. 60,150 Bookbug bags will be gifted to Primary 1 pupils across Scotland, plus 850 Gaelic bags, all containing three books each.

New books, writing materials and counting games will also be included in this year's Read, Write, Count bags, gifted to all Primary 2 and Primary 3 pupils in Scotland. More than 129,600 bags of books will be distributed during Book Week Scotland, to support family learning alongside school learning which is hugely beneficial for children in the crucial early years of primary school.

Celebrating its tenth year, Book Week Scotland is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. Book Week Scotland was initiated by the Scottish Government and is supported by funding from Creative Scotland and SLIC. This year it runs from Monday 15 November to Sunday 21 November.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

'Gifting free books to families across Scotland is one of the highlights of Book Week Scotland, and we hope P1-P3 children enjoy reading and sharing the stories and activities at home and at school. For many children in Scotland, the only books they have at home are the ones they are given by Scottish Book Trust. Our Bookbug and Read Write Count bags reach children from birth to seven years old across Scotland.

We're grateful to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills for joining us in Dunfermline to be part of this important gifting during Book Week Scotland.'

Cabinet Secretary of Education and Skills, Shirley Anne Sommerville, said:

'Developing reading, writing and counting skills is vital to children's development. The Scottish Government is proud to fund the delivery of the Read Write Count and Bookbug programmes again this year – I hope that children, parents and carers will enjoy the stories and fun activities inside their free bags.'

This year's Read Write Count P2 bag contains The Bug Collector by Alex G Griffiths and The Biggest Story by Sarah Coyle and Dan Taylor, a shuffle card game and a ruler with a magnifying glass, as well as a guide for parents to help them incorporate easy and fun reading, writing and counting activities into their family's day to day lives.

The P3 bag contains Octopus Shocktopus by Peter Bently and Steven Lenton, as well as The Last Wolf by Mini Grey. Also included in the Read Write Count bag is a card game, a measuring tape and a guide for parents.

Every year, the Bookbug Picture Book Prize celebrates the best new Scottish picture books, selected by an independent panel, and the winner of the prize is chosen by children across Scotland. All Primary 1 pupils receive the three shortlisted books in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag, given out in November, and can vote for their favourite story in school or at home with their families. For more information and to register to vote, visit https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/reading-and-stories/about-bookbug-picture-book-prize/bpbp-2022-vote-now(this will open in a new window)

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For all media enquiries please contact PR & Marketing Manager Keara Donnachie:

keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or 07956772739

Read Write Count bags

The Primary 2 and Primary 3 bags were produced by Scottish Book Trust in conjunction with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government as part of Read Write Count. 64,000 P2 bags and 64,000 P3 bags, plus 800 P2 bags and 800 P3 bags in Gaelic will be produced to support all pupils and their families in this age group in Scotland.

Read, Write, Count is part of Parent Club, which brings together new and existing Scottish Government support for parents. Parent Club offers tips and ideas from other parents who have done it all before, backed up by advice from trusted experts. http://parentclub.scot

Parents can visit www.parentclub.scot or join Read, Write, Count on Twitter (@ReadWriteCount ) and Facebook (Facebook.com/ParentClubScotland) for tips, activities and ideas that make reading, writing and counting with children an easy, fun and positive experience.

The Bookbug P1 Family Bag

The Bookbug P1 Family Bag was produced by Scottish Book Trust in conjunction with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government as part of Read, Write, Count – a literacy and numeracy campaign aimed at parents and carers of children in Primary 1 to 3. Gaelic Bags will again be available for P1 children in Gaelic Medium Education. These bags will be gifted alongside the English bags this autumn. To find out more about the Gaelic bag, please visit the Gaelic section of our website.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children's learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health & well-being. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Our programmes and outreach work include:

In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.

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Book Week Scotland

Initiated by the Scottish Government and supported by £200,000 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Targeted Funding and over £24,000 from SLIC, Book Week Scotland 2021 will be delivered by Scottish Book Trust from 15 November – 21 November.

For more information about Book Week Scotland 2021 and how you can get involved, visit http://www.bookweekscotland.com(this will open in a new window) where you can find information about all the events taking place in your local area. Follow @Bookweekscot on Twitter, check out #bookweekscotland or like the Book Week Scotland Facebook page.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

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