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News story

1,000 books gifted to local families at First Words Together’s summer parties

18 Aug 2022

154 First Words Together Summer Party.jpg

On Monday 1 August and Wednesday 17 August, over 400 0-2 year olds attended First Words Together’s summer parties! These events were developed in partnership with Birmingham Forward Steps and took place at Oddingley Hall, Holloway Community Hall, Featherstone Children’s Centre and Holland House Children’s Centre.

Families were invited along to talk to practitioners and learn five talking tips, designed to help develop their baby and toddler’s speech and language. As well as discovering each of the tips, families were able to listen to a story-teller, meet Maisy Mouse, take part in outdoor games, and claim a free ice cream and gift bag. A speech and language therapist was also on-hand for families to seek immediate advice and feedback on their little one’s development.

The First Words Together programme helps little ones learn to talk through play, stories, songs and more – as well as supporting parents to meet other parents in their local area. The five talking tips help little ones get talking and are learned at a series of free sessions for families with children under two.

Over 800 free books were given out to families that attended the events, along with information on the talking tips, and free activities for parents to complete with their little ones at home.

In between the two events, Maisy Mouse toured a series of children’s centre’s running Holiday Kitchen programmes across the city, gifting an additional 200 books to families attending and sharing the five taking tips with families. A total of 1,000 books were gifted to familes across the entire summer series.

One parent who attended said: “It was very welcoming and I didn't feel put out because we weren't regular users of the children’s centre - but we might become regulars now!”

Whilst an early years practitioner fed back: “We never see this many people engaging with our children’s centre, so it was amazing to see so many families!”

Huge thanks goes to everyone who supported the First Words Together team to make these events happen. These include:

  • Birmingham Forward Steps
  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barnardos Children’s Centre practitioners
  • Spurgeons Children’s Centre practitioners
  • Walker Books
  • The Ice Dream Experience
  • Alex Shows, storyteller
  • Cath Edwards, storyteller
  • Mustard Yellow Photography
  • Birmingham Stories’ Literacy Champions

Families can find out more about both the sessions and the tips on our website.

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