If you follow us on Facebook, then you may have noticed this incredible cake Paul made recently? You may also have questioned just exactly what it is?
Paul was approached by a friend, Rosie Cake Diva, and asked if he would make a cake to mark the opening of Oak Furniture's new store in Kircaldy, Fife. But it wasn't to be your run of the mill cake, it was to be a huge Bookbug for the Scottish Book Trust. Bookbug helps young people with reading and writing and as Paul has dyslexia this something that he was delighted to support.
To raise more awareness for their cause, we decided to sit down with Lindsay Clydesdale from the Scottish Book Trust and find out just why the Scottish Book Trust is so important.
Hi Lindsay, so what is the Scottish Book Trust?
The Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that works to change lives through reading and writing. Our aim is to inspire and support people in Scotland to read and write for pleasure, through programmes and outreach work.
And how is it you do this?
Our programmes and outreach work includes gifting 240,000 Bookbug bags of free books every year to children, to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
We also run author events and tours of schools, creating innovative classroom activities that fire children’s imaginations; support Scotland’s diverse writing community with training, awards and writing opportunities; and run mass participation and engagement events like the annual Book Week Scotland.
Last year we also delivered more than 23,000 free Bookbug song, story and rhyme sessions, reaching more than 586,000 families all across the country.
What is it the organisation hopes to achieve?
Reading is something we want everyone to enjoy and our work is targeted at areas where people might need extra support or where our programmes can have the biggest impact. We also have advice and information to make sure everyone, especially children, can access books and reading if they have Additional Support Needs, such as dyslexia or hearing impairment.
We work with partners to provide innovative ways of engaging reluctant readers and provide materials that are useful, supporting young adult learners to develop literacy skills through our innovative graphic novels.
Why is reading so important not only for children but adults too?
Reading is a key life skill and the benefits of reading regularly aren’t just academic, they are life-long and far-reaching. Reading can reduce stress and is linked to preventing and slowing the onset of dementia. It improves mental well-being, empathy, communication and self-esteem, and can reduce anxiety and depression.
For children, stories – whether they are reading them or writing them – can provide ways of coping with alienation or problems at school, and as their reading improves this positively impacts other aspects of school work.
Lastly, what can we as parents, siblings, friends and partners do to help?
Everyone has a part to play in encouraging reading, by being positive role models and showing that reading is for everyone. It doesn’t have to be books – some people prefer magazines, newspapers, blogs, comics, graphic novels, short stories or plays – read whatever interests you and share your favourites.
Through reading and writing, we are working towards a Scotland where everyone, no matter what their background, has the same opportunities to thrive. So pick up a book and get involved. www.scottishbooktrust.com