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Evaluating the Booktime project

Research undertaken for the Booktrust by

David Wray and Jane Medwell

Booktime is a programme set up by education and publishing company Pearson, in association with independent charity Booktrust, to promote the pleasure of reading and encourage parents and carers to read aloud with their children.

The programme was piloted in Warwickshire and the London Borough of Southwark in January 2006. Following positive feedback from the pilot, the programme has been scaled out to targeted regions across the UK. In January 2007, the DfES agreed to support the expansion of Booktime, enabling every reception child in England to receive a book pack by the end of the year.

Children aged 4 to 5 were given the gift of a children's illustrated book shortly after they started school, to take home to share with family and friends. Books were handed out by teachers in a special book bag, with a guidance booklet for parents and carers on shared reading. This was introduced with a foreword by best-selling author and Children's Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson, and illustrated by well-known children's illustrator, Tony Ross.

The Booktime project was evaluated by David Wray and Jane Medwell, and key research questions focussed on the impact that the Booktime project had:

  • on the time children spend reading with their families;
  • on participating children’s reading achievement;
  • on their views about, and enjoyment of, reading;
  • on the views of their parents/carers about helping their children with reading;
  • on the wider development of literacy in participating children.

Further details of the Booktime project as a whole can be found here.

The final evaluation report is now available and can be downloaded from here.