Celebrating the work of Bookbug

Bookbug is a fabulous scheme that encourages the love of books and the enjoyment of reading to and with the very young.

The highly successful scheme is run by the charity the Scottish Book Trust.

The 2021 Bookbug Hero Award is Kylie Watt, Nursery Practitioner at Longridge Nursery, West Lothian.

Nominated by her colleagues, Kylie has been recognised for dedicating her working career of over 20 years to children and early years education.

Kylie said:

“I am so proud to be announced as the winner of the Bookbug Hero Award. It was a lovely surprise that my colleagues and parents from Longridge Nursery Class nominated me and gave me recognition for doing a job that I love.

“The award confirms that what I am doing to promote literacy development within our early year’s setting is having a positive impact on our families and children. Bookbug Explorer Bags have been an important part of promoting a love of books and the book bags have really helped us on our literacy journey because they give all children the opportunity to access high quality children’s literature and literacy resources.”

Bookbug has been central to the nursery’s inclusive and nurturing approach as they returned after a prolonged lockdown due to Covid-19. Kylie’s work helped transition the children back into the nursery environment and also helped make parents feel involved and valued.

She delivered reading sessions in small groups, using books to introduce and consolidate learning objectives such as exploring and recognising rhyme, counting syllables in words, letter recognition, story sequences and retelling the story. The stories also linked in with health and wellbeing, supporting children in their return to nursery. Kylie’s sessions explored emotions and feelings to enable children to express their own during a difficult transitional period of settling into the new routine of covid-19 nursery life. 

Kylie has been praised for using Bookbug as a consistent point of involvement and contact for parents, to build a bridge between the home and nursery setting. She has equipped the parents with information on how to use Bookbug bags well and spend quality reading and bonding time with their children. She also maintained online communication with parents during the pandemic.

The nursery also uses a self-developed book-borrowing scheme, which became more important than ever with the closure of libraries during the pandemic. Kylie has provided parents with resources so they are able to explore and address many issues with their children that they may have been anxious about or lacked the knowledge or skills to discuss at a stage appropriate level. These resources supported the parent-child bond by dealing with events cooperatively and holistically in a method that a child can comprehend. Kylie also fostered a nursery bedtime read initiative as an addition to the Bookbug Explorer bag gifting.          

The Bookbug Hero Award is run in association with Walker Books and seeks to honour someone working with Bookbug who has used the programme to make a real difference to the lives of the young children, families and the communities they work with.

As the winner of the Bookbug Hero Award, Kylie will receive a bundle of picture books worth £500 from Walker Books.

Bookbug is Scotland’s universal early years book gifting programme and aims to inspire a love of stories, songs and rhymes from birth.


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