Thumbs up for new 'book bag' scheme for schoolchildren

A new scheme to ensure children who are not yet returning to school don’t fall behind with reading is being launched in Wirral.

During the partial closure of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic many children who would normally be using books in their classrooms may have very limited or no access to books at home.

While almost 1,200 free laptops have been provided to many children by the Government, the Council’s Schools Library Service is introducing a further scheme that will see paper bags containing up to six books for reading for pleasure, which schools can then hand out to children.

Schools can then distribute book bags however they think best - direct to homes when they are dropping off school meal vouchers; when they are making welfare visits or asking parents and carers to collect bags from school.

Councillor Wendy Clements, Chair of the Council’s Children and Families Committee has welcomed the scheme: “This is a great idea by the Schools Library Service to make sure children who are at greatest risk of falling behind get some additional support.

“Until all children are back in school, initiatives like these new book bags could make all the difference to children who receive them.”

Proposed contents for each bag will be 5-6 books, a mix of fiction and popular non- fiction (such as football, dinosaurs or space), a poetry book and an art or craft book. Bags could also include a donated book for the child to keep plus some bookmarks, stickers and colouring sheets depending on availability.