Children's storytime with Dad

A PROJECT has been launched in a Sheffield inner city suburb to encourage more dads to read with their children.

Tuesday, 25th September 2007, 12:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2007, 8:11 am

A national scheme called Bookstart is funding the initiative in Sharrow with the help of groups including the city council and the local Sure-Start centre.

A storytelling event was held to launch the programme with the help of author and illustrator Steve Smallman at Highfields Library.

The idea is that regular sessions for fathers and other male carers will now be held to build on its success.

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Coun Tim Rippon, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, culture and planning, said Bookstart was an excellent scheme.

"It celebrates the importance of reading at an early age. It's never too soon to introduce books to children and we urge dads and male carers to enrol their children in their local library as soon as possible to take advantage of the activities and sessions we hold," he said.

"It is early days for the project in Sharrow but already the response has been more than encouraging and we want to build on this and work with the local community."

Organisers believe that as a community, Sharrow offers a unique opportunity to engage with dads and their children. There is a diverse collection of retail units, services and leisure activities that attract a wide range of fathers.

As part of the project more events are planned to include story time and fun sessions at local libraries and schools.

Anne Davies from Sharrow Sure-Start said dads often didn't realise how important their time and interest was to children.

"Many fathers are so busy providing for their family that they can't find time during the week. The 'bring dad to' events will build on our Saturday Dads' Group that help provide time, space and activities that fathers can enjoy with their younger children. We had a great response and hope to repeat this on a regular basis."

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