Sunday, 7 March 2010

The West Sussex book buses

Last Week I was kindly hosted by West Sussex and spent two days touring sunny Worthing (yes, it was sunny) and one day in sunny Crawley (cold, but sunny). I also had the privileged to take part in two Word Book Day events at pre-schools. The book buses visit underfives settings on a three weekly schedule. The children come on in small groups listen to one "big" story together, then have to opportunity to browse the books, handling them, sharing them and being read to individually by library and setting staff. There is a great deal of partnership between the setting and the bookbus staff. This was demonstrated by the World Book Day activities. The activities were jointly planned, setting staff prepared each setting with craftwork by the children, and a story was read by bookbus staff, then acted out by staff, children and me.

The Southern bookbus is quite large and staffed by two specialist assistants. The Northern bookbus is small, staffed by one library outreach worker and only operates on Mondays and Fridays because it is shared with the Families and Children's service. This seems to work well.

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