Way back in October we wrote about Born to Read a campaign by Save the Children and Beanstalk to recruit 20,000 change makers to help children in the UK to read before the age of 7 where due to circumstances beyond their control they wouldn't have been able to previously.
As an avid reader myself and a house full of books (we need more rooms to keep up with them) I know the importance of books, they have taken me to many magical places - through the cupboard into Narnia, on a broom stick for a Quiditch competition or down to the centre of the earth. However, none of those places compare to where T and I went this last week.
On Tuesday 21st January T and I set off extremely early in the morning to London joining the commuters on the train to one of the main London Stations and then onto the Tube for a trip to West Minster Palace to meet with other parent bloggers who believe strongly like we do that together we can make a change for these children with our voices, teachers, students, volunteers, representatives of Save the Children and Beanstalk, MP's from around the country and peers of the realm to talk about reading, books and how we can make a difference.
Armed with our favourite books - The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Topsy and Tim visit London we headed into the House of Parliament. T will be 3 in couple of months and is normally quite shy, but books are one thing that really brings her personality out. She shared her favourite books with Maggy from Red Ted Art even before the event had started and proceeded to tell anyone that would listen to her about her books.
We listened whilst the CEO of Save the Children - Justin Forsyth introduced the campaign and the importance of volunteers to help children to read, many children coming from families where there is a history of illiteracy (something I have seen myself working in schools), where books are not treasured or libraries are not visited (of course not helped by the fact that many libraries are closing down around the country) needing the support of the volunteers to encourage and enthuse them about books and reading bringing the words on the page alive and helping them get a grip of reading to take them places and let them succeed and fulfil their dreams.
The secretary of state for Education Michael Grove spoke to us about the importance of reading for life long success and the children's author Lauren Child about how a book can open up the world to an individual with example of street children in Mexico. Of course in typical Toddler fashion T had to express herself and at the start of Michael Groves Speech a loud voice from the back of the room sitting on my knee could be heard saying "Mummy I don't like him make him stop talking!" opps!
After the speeches T and I spent a lovely time talking to the many passionate volunteers from Bean Stalk and Children's Authors in the room about reading and our favourite books.
You can help to - come and a be a Change Maker sign up to be one of the 20,000 change makers in the UK helping to make a difference over the coming months.