Book Bugs Project
Book Bugs is one of the projects that has developed beyond the Celebrating Fatherhood campaign, its aim is to help 3-5 year-old boys enjoy books and reading. It is currently managed by Early Years and the Library Service.
What is Book Bugs?
A programme linking male volunteers with early years settings to act as a positive role model for readers, to increase boys’ engagement with books and support their early reading skills
Why Book Bugs?
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile assessments indicate that in some areas boys are not reaching the expected level of development in reading at the end of their reception year meaning they will not be as well-equipped as their peers to fly forward with their learning as they go into Key Stage 1.
What was Book Bugs aiming to do?
- To increase boys’ confidence and skills as readers by encouraging their active interest in and enjoyment of books from an early age.
- For male volunteers from the community to visit early years settings for one hour per week and be positive role models for reading and enjoying books.
- To increase children and families’ use of local library service.
The Pilot 2013-14
We recruited 8 male volunteers in the Paulton and Radstock area for our pilot. These volunteers attended a number of training sessions to prepare them for engaging boys in books. The pilot aimed to make a difference to the boys reading levels which research shows is lagging behind the girls levels.
One of the Book Bug Settings says:
"It’s going really well. Our volunteer has been coming in every week. We have few boys who weren't really interested in looking at books and they are loving working with him. They say “Yeah- He’s here!”. It seems to be making a vast difference already."
A Book Bug Volunteer says:
"It seems to be having a really positive impact on the children. At the same time I’m really enjoying it!!! Definitely feel it’s worthwhile for the boys."
10 in 100 2014-15
As part of the Councils 10 in 100 scheme, Book Bugs was able to gain the support from key directors to help drive it forward. The project has run in 2 areas of Bath and North East Somerset:
In Radstock: 8 volunteers visited 7 settings (8 groups of children)
In Keynsham: 10 volunteers visited 5 settings (9 groups of children)
The lastest evaluation on the Book Bugs project can be found in the document on the right or on this link Book Bugs 2015 evaluation.
The future 2016 and beyond
The Book Bugs pioneers volunteering teaam have been nominated for a Chairman's Community Award 2015/16, for their services to volunteering.
The project hopes to build on both previous efforts and increase the number of volunteers and settings in the programme. A funding bid is in preparation.
Further updates will appear here soon.