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111 111 Bookstart packs have been distributed to new-born babies!

“Bookstart Switzerland” enables joyful access to the language universe


Bookstart Switzerland, © Theo Gstöhl, Chur

Bookstart Switzerland, © Theo Gstöhl, Chur

In December 2011, the 111 111th Swiss baby received a Bookstart pack containing not only two picture books for babies, but also a book for parents listing many practical suggestions for fostering their children’s language and awareness. “Bookstart Switzerland” is a co-operation that aims to foster children’s language competencies from the day they are born, thus providing them with access to the universe of language and imaginative creativity.

“Buchstart Schweiz” (Bookstart Switzerland) is a project that is jointly organised by the Bibliomedia foundation, and the Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media (SIKJM). The project aims to support all children in their early language development, providing them with a joyful access to the world of reading and knowledge.

The Bookstart pack contains a practical guide for parents as well as two children’s books which are jointly selected by experts from the Bibliomedia foundation and the Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media (SIKJM), based on pedagogical criteria.

Bookstart packages are handed out by general practitioners and pediatricians, and counseling centres for parents or libraries. The experts offer complementary advice to the parents and assist them in using the pack and supporting their children’s language development. Since the project was started in April 2008, 111 111 of the children in Switzerland, i.e. 40% of the newly-born babies, have received a Bookstart package. The mid—term objective is to reach out to all children born in Switzerland..

Toddler areas in libraries
Bookstart has evoked fundamental changes to libraries in Switzerland. Since the project was launched in April 2008, numerous libraries across Switzerland have set up special areas for babies and toddlers and they offer events for the infants and their parents. Thus, visiting the library becomes a regular event even early in life.

Further information on the project: www.buchstart.ch.

Bibliomedia Schweiz
Bibliomedia Schweiz is engaged as a central resource library for public libraries, schools and other institutions involved in promoting reading and culture. The three Bibliomedia library centres are located in Solothurn, Lausanne and Biasca, which pursuant to the overarching mission, customize their services to particular language regions. Solothurn and Lausanne each host a centre for classroom reading, providing teachers and their classes with sets of books.
Further information: www.bibliomedia.ch

The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media (SIKJM)
The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media (SIKJM) holds an exceptional stock of child and youth literature; it is engaged in researching historic and contemporary child and youth literature and develops and manages projects fostering literacy. SKJM possesses branches in French and Italian speaking Switzerland and it is an associate institute of Zurich University. SIKJM also receives funding from the Federal Office of Culture, the Secretary of State for Education and Research and the canton and city of Zurich. The Johanna Spyri-Foundation acts as SIKJM trustee. The Johanna Spyri archive is linked to SKJM.
Further information: www.sikjm.ch

Dr. Ruth Fassbind
Bibliomedia Schweiz
Rosenweg 2
4500 Solothurn
Tel.: +41 32 624 90 22
E-Mail: ruth.fassbind@bibliomedia.ch
Internet: www.bibliomedia.ch

Christine Tresch, lic. phil.
Leiterin Abteilung Literale Förderung
Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media
Zeltweg 11
8032 Zürich
Tel.: +41 43 268 39 00
E-Mail: christine.tresch@sikjm.ch
Internet: www.sikjm.ch

Translated into English by Gwendolyn Schulte (DIPF)