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News story

Families invited to attend summer parties with special guest Maisy Mouse

26 Jul 2023

099 First Words Together Summer Party.jpg

This August, the National Literacy Trust’s First Words Together summer parties are returning to Birmingham in partnership with Birmingham Forward Steps children’s centres. Perfect for families with 0-2 year olds, the parties aim to help parents support their baby and toddler’s language and communication development, in a fun, engaging environment.

Five summer parties will take place in the following locations:

Holloway Hall Community Centre, Holloway, Birmingham B31 1TT

  • 17 August, 10am-12pm
  • 17 August, 1:30-3:30pm

Lakeside Children's Centre, Lakes Road, Birmingham, B23 7UH

  • 22 August, 10-12pm
  • 22 August, 1:30pm-3:30pm

Handsworth Baptist Church Centre, 38A Victoria Rd, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 0SA

  • 30 August, 10am-1pm

Following the huge success of these parties in 2022, families in attendance will once again have the opportunity to learn five talking tips to help babies and toddlers learn their first words, guided and modelled by children’s centre practitioners. Families can also take part in a storytelling session, meet their local library service and pick up a free ice cream. Very special guest Maisy, from Lucy Cousins’ children’s picture books will also make an appearance. Children are invited to say hello and take a selfie with her.

Language development at the age of two is linked to a child’s readiness for school and their later educational outcomes. The National Literacy Trust works to empower parents to feel and be more confident, independent, skilled, and knowledgeable in supporting their child’s learning and development. First Words Together does this by training local early years practitioners to deliver weekly sessions that include evidence-based, fun activities based around five top tips to build the foundations of communication that parents can easily repeat in the home.

All families will receive a free goodie bag, containing advice and support to help babies learn their first words, Maisy books and more. Each event is free to attend, and no registration is required. Families can turn up on the day. Goodie bags are subject to availability, so people are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

At the summer parties designed to support this programme of work, National Literacy Trust staff will be on hand to support any parents wishing to sign-up to the five-week First Words Together programme, taking place in libraries and children’s centres across the city. Speech and language therapy partners from the NHS will also be available to provide expert advice to parents seeking additional support.

“It’s wonderful to see the summer parties returning to Birmingham this summer made all the more special with a visit from Maisy. Our work in Birmingham has continued to grow over the last year and will ensure local families have the skills and confidence to support their babies during these vital early stages of development”. “We know how important early language is in making sure children have the literacy skills they need to succeed. I’m thrilled that through our First Words Together programme we get the opportunity to acknowledge all that local families are doing day-to-day whist offering additional support where needed.”

Tracy Jackson, Head of Early Years at the National Literacy Trust

“We’re so pleased to support this initiative with an appearance from Maisy, along with promotional items for the family goodie bags, and we hope these really help families engage as early as possible with the joy of storytelling!”

Peter Smith, Head of Education Sales & Key Account Manager at Walker

For more information and a list of FAQ’s about the summer parties, visit this webpage.

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