Chatterbooks group proves a big hit with children

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Chatterbooks group proves a big hit with children

Posted: 22/01/2007 18:47:07

A nationally co-ordinated reading group scheme for children, being piloted at Tiverton Library, has been voted an outstanding success.

Orange Chatterbooks is delivered through a partnership between The Reading Agency and Orange. Aimed at four to 12-year-olds, the scheme encourages children and their families to visit their public library, read adventurously, share their enthusiasm about books and develop the confidence to formulate and express opinions about reading.

Tiverton Library has been a pilot for Devon for the last 18 months and has proved so popular a limit of ten children per session has had to be imposed.

The group, for seven to 11-year-olds, meets between 5pm and 6pm on the first Tuesday of each month.

Activities have involved author talks, visits to the museum and local cinema, craft activities, creating storyboards for films, choosing books to go on the library shelves and, of course, discussing favourite books.

It is hoped to roll out the scheme across Devon in the forthcoming months.

From an original pilot in 2001, the scheme has grown hugely, and there are now more than 3000 children attending over 200 Chatterbooks reading groups in 116 library authorities across the UK. Popular children's author Jacqueline Wilson is the project's Patron.

Each Chatterbooks member receives a goody bag including reading lists, review notes, reading diaries and games. The scheme also organises author/illustrator/storyteller tours, bringing Chatterbooks children into contact with story creators.

Executive Member for Culture, Councillor Sheila Hobden, said: "We are delighted with the response to the Chatterbooks pilot project in Tiverton, and hope to extend the programme to other Devon libraries as soon as possible. Devon County Council has a commitment to improving our libraries, and that goes for our younger readers as much as our adult ones."

Anyone interested in joining the group should contact the library on 01884 244644 and leave their details, ready for the next session, which starts in March 2007.

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