The Great Big Read, an event created to excite children about reading and to raise money and awareness for a free book library for parents, was hosted by Tops Day Nurseries in Winchester between Monday 2nd March until Friday 6th March.
Invitations were sent out to encourage volunteers to head down to the nurseries to take part and Cllr Liz Hutchison and MP Steve Brine visited the nursery based onsite at Royal Hampshire County Hospital to take part and read story books with the children.
With the support of Independent Usborne Organiser Vanessa Marsh from Pop-Up Bookshop, Tops Day Nurseries took part in the Great Big Read in order to raise awareness of the importance of reading, provide opportunities for their children to read and be read to and to raise funds for their book lending library. Tops Day Nurseries created their lending library to allow parents and children access to books and other reading materials that they may not have previously been able to access.
MP Steve Brine said “The Great Big Read is a smashing initiative so it was good to support it locally by visiting Tops and getting to read to the children. My two still love a story but it was special to read the Gruffalo again to little ones.’
“The early years sector is under great strain at the moment and is a key focus for me this year in Parliament. We shouldn’t turn our back on the 30-hours promise but we cannot do it on the cheap and we cannot do it while the number of providers in the market, across different settings, is going in the wrong direction.”
After hosting the events Tops have managed to transform their lending library service with an incredible number of free books being given by Usborne Books at Home, a division of Usborne Publishing, in addition to all of the sponsorship money raised to purchase books. On top of the individually sponsored element, Vanessa Marsh coordinated a giant Community Book Pledge securing further sponsorship from businesses including school and nursery suppliers.
Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director of Tops Day Nurseries commented “We are delighted to be a part of this exciting new project and I am very proud of the book lending library we have created for our parents and the contribution of almost £5000 has given us a fantastic start.”
Tops Day Nurseries offers care for children from 3 months – school age, as well as having an afterschool and holiday club for children up to the age of 8. Parents can benefit from extended opening hours of 6am-8pm subject to demand, for, 52 weeks a year including Bank Holidays. This is as well as the number of extra-curricular activities such as Forest School, which extend the experiences children have whilst at nursery.
Pictured ; Steve reading 'The Gruffalo' to the children