Bookstart projects have become popular all over Europe. The Department of Culture for the German- and Italian-speaking population in South Tyrol (Italy) have been running a Bookstart (bilingual Italian and German) project since 2007. The project comprises a free pack of books for every baby at six months old and another gift of books when the child is 18 months old.
To make sure this scheme is welcomed by parents and to get to know how parents deal with early literacy, a questionnaire was created and sent to the first 2,000 families that had received the book pack. Over 60% of the families returned the questionnaire and the results were overwhelmingly positive.
-85% of these families say they enjoy sharing books with their baby
-78% say they spend time sharing books at least once a day
-98% of the children show of their own initiative that they want to look at a book
-97% say the child looks at books without an adult
-96% have read the information brochure in the pack
-32% give books as presents more frequently
-24% visit libraries more often
-43% of the parents have realised how important it is to talk to the child, read aloud and look at books more frequently
This positive feedback is very encouraging and will help convince more and more people how important early literacy is.