Parents and their babies will soon have access to free singing and rhyming sessions on the Isle of Skye thanks to a new initiative recently launched throughout the region.
The Bookstart Rhymetimes initiative aims to put music and books at the heart of Highland family life while at the same time raising awareness of the links between singing and rhymes and literacy development.
The initiative has been developed as an extension of the existing Bookstart Rhymetimes programme, and is intended to roll ryhmetimes out on a national scale by providing in-depth training and Bookstart Rhymetime toolkits to local authorities throughout Scotland.
Lesley Pinder, Bookstart Rhymetime Project Manager, believes that these sessions, if attended regularly, have the potential to greatly increase Highland Council’s children’s literacy development and enjoyment of music:
“Music is the perfect vehicle for learning, and is a way of communicating with your child before they can even talk. Recent research by Youth Music has shown that music making can help to develop communication, maths, listening, concentration, sharing and social skills in under 5’s. This in turn increases children’s confidence and can give them a head start when they begin full time education.
The Highland Council’s Chairman of Education, Culture and Sport, Councillor Bill Fernie said: “I am sure these new Rhymetimes sessions will prove to be very popular with parents and their young children. By making music an important part of a child’s upbringing, parents are developing their own and their children’s confidence and social skills.
David Linton, Assistant Area Libraries Officer, Ross, Skye and Lochaber, is confident that the newly trained Bookstart Rhymetimes staff have the skills, confidence and knowledge to sustain successful sessions throughout the region. He said: “Our staff have been trained and mentored by some of the country’s leading music educationalists to aid them in providing the highest quality Bookstart Rhymetime sessions to all families in Highland. They will be held in libraries, delivered by the local Bookstart coordinators, library assistants, and health workers and are an opportunity for parents to come together with their babies and toddlers to sing rhymes and songs in an informal and fun setting.”
The Scottish Arts Council’s Youth Music Initiative commissioned Youth Music to develop the ‘Bookstart Rhymetimes’ Pilot Project with the Bookstart in Scotland Programme in 2005. A total funding package of £177,970 has been awarded by the Scottish Arts Council and Bookstart in Scotland to Youth Music to deliver the project on behalf of these organisations.
Additional aspects of the project include the insertion of a ‘Bookstart Baby’s Musical Day’ CD into Bookstart Baby and Bookstart + packs.
The first Bookstart Rhymetimes sessions will take place on November 15th at 2pm at Portree Library and on 22nd November at 11am at Broadford Library. Anyone wanting to come to these free sessions should contact Morna MacLaren on 01478 612697 (portree.library.gov.uk) or Gail Ross on 01471 820075 (broadford.library.gov.uk)
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information or press enquiries about Bookstart Rhymetimes please contact Helen Croney on 0131 558 1111 or Lesley Pinder on 07976 584 106.
About The Youth Music Initiative:
The Youth Music Inititaive (YMI) is funded by the Scottish Executive and administered by the Scottish Arts Council. The YMI promotes and supports access to music making for children and young people in Scotland. One of the key areas to be developed under the YMI is music making for the early years, which was identifies as an area for development in the national audit of youth music provision ‘What’s Going On?’ and is addressed in the National Youth Music Strategy (Scottish Arts Council 2006.) The Scottish Arts Council is working in partnership with Youth Music and Bookstart in Scotland to address this identified gap area and to develop two training models for early years workers. More information can be obtained from
About The Scottish Arts Council:
The Scottish Arts Council champions the arts for Scotland. It is Scotland’s leading funding and development body for the arts, distributing money from the Scottish Executive and the National Lottery. More information can be obtained from www.scottisharts.org.uk.
About Bookstart in Scotland:
Bookstart in Scotland is part of the UK wide Bookstart programme administrated by Booktrust. Working through locally-based organisations such as libraries, health professionals, SureStart and Early Years workers, Bookstart gives the gift of free books to every child in Scotland at around eight weeks, 12 months and three years, along with guidance materials for parents and carers.
For further information or press enquiries about Bookstart in Scotland please contact Helen Croney or Caroline McLeod. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 0131 558 1111.
About Youth Music:
Youth Music is a UK wide charity that aims to support music making opportunities for children and young people, especially those who would otherwise not have the chance. Youth Music believes that all children 0-5 should be entitled to music-making opportunities.