Bags of fun for children in Malmesbury area

This Is Wiltshire: Library manager Steve Taylor and Rachael Page, from Malmesbury Children’s Centre, with youngsters and their Storysacks Library manager Steve Taylor and Rachael Page, from Malmesbury Children’s Centre, with youngsters and their Storysacks

Malmesbury Children’s Centre has launched a pilot version of a project it hopes will help under-fives enjoy reading.

The project, which is in partnership with Wiltshire Mobile Library, aims to deliver Storysacks to families living in the Sherston area who otherwise might find it difficult to access the centre in Malmesbury.

A Storysack is a cloth sack with a book and props such as puppets, or soft toy characters, that enable parents to bring stories to life with their child.

Parents using the Storysacks will be helping their child develop communication and language skills, preparing them for pre-school, school and making friends.

Centre co-ordinator Debbie Skilton said: “The purpose of it is to embrace learning to read which is helped through talking, communicating and role play. It’s aimed at parents in more rural locations so they can access the service in their own village.

“We’ve also given a sack to the pre-school, who are sharing information with parents. We’re going out to do group sessions once every three weeks so hopefully everyone under five can use this free service.

“It’s all about communication and emotional development; if children haven’t got that then they will have difficulties in other parts of the curriculum.”

If the pilot scheme is successful, it is hoped to introduce it in other villages in the area.

Families need to contact Malmesbury Children’s Centre to book their Storysack, which will be available for collection on the mobile library when it calls at the Sherston High Street stop. To book a Storysack, or for more information, contact the children’s centre on (01666) 825566. The Big Orange Stomp fundraising event at Malmesbury Primary School on October 12, from 10-11am, will be run in aid of Spurgeons, which supports the children’s centre.

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