18 Aug 2022

Limerick parents and guardians urged to 'gift a book' to their babies this summer

Limerick parents and guardians urged to 'gift a book' to their babies this summer

Cute little bookworms: Pictured at the launch were Juliette Rose (21 months) and Lana Gaughan (aged 3) from Castletroy | PICTURE: Brian Arthur

CHILDREN’S Books Ireland has unveiled details of the Bookseed baby book-gifting programme 2021 with a collection of free books being made available for collection from participating libraries and health centres in Limerick from this weekend.

The programme, which is available for families at multiple locations across the city and county, aims to get parents and guardians reading to their babies from birth. The organisers of the initiative are particularly trying to reach families who may have missed out during Covid–19 closures.

Commenting at the launch, Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, said: “We are so pleased to be working with Limerick Libraries and the HSE in Limerick again after a long Covid-enforced break, and we really appreciate their continued support on this project. Limerick babies can once again collect their free books from selected health centres and libraries and we can’t wait to share the magic of these wonderful books by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Chris Haughton and Mary Murphy with them."

Families who want to get involved can collect a book bag with three free books, along with a Bookseed reading guide from library branches in Abbeyfeale, Adare, Dooradoyle, Kilmallock, Newcastle West and Watch House Cross.

Parents and guardians of children aged 1-2 who may have already received their first Bookseed books at their developmental checks with their public health nurse can also collect the final book, Goodnight Like This by Mary Murphy, from the same branches.

A number of free Bookseed events for Limerick families will also take place online va Zoom with over the summer. The first of these is with author-illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick this Thursday - details here.

In Spring 2019, public health nurses began to distribute books to babies attending their three-month developmental checks at health centres in Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West, Barrack View, Croom, Rathkeale and Southill.

The €75,000 project, which has been extended to include over 2,000 babies in health centres across the city and county, provides parents and guardians with tips on reading to infants and information on how to join their local library.

The project has now been adapted to allow the collection of all three books both from health centres and libraries to ensure that these books can get into the hands of babies as soon as possible.

Bookseed is funded by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and Rethink Ireland to support babies in Limerick.

West Limerick Resources, together with the West Limerick Primary Health Care Project for Travellers, will help to distribute Bookseed bags to families in the Travelling Community.

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