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"Thank you for sending me a book - it's my first book"

"Introducing a child to just one good book, sharing one great book with that child, could change their whole perception of reading." Jacqueline Wilson

opening doors

According to past statistics, the future didn't look too bright for looked after children. There are many reasons for this, both obvious and hidden which are important to understand before trying to address needs.

Reports have shown that looked after children (LAC) in Norfolk were reaching lower attainment levels in reading and writing than their peer group. Norfolk County Council places great emphasis on developing children's educational attainment but equally recognises that academic attainment is only one aspect of development that needs to be extended.

The one-year Opening Doors project, jointly managed by Norfolk County Councils Library and Information Service and Children's Services and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, was developed to address both these needs.

It stated in January 2006 with the aims of encouraging library membership; wider reading and enhancing share reading opportunities for looked after children and their carers. It sought to offer children opportunities for personal development and to extend their achievements. It did this by consulting with the children, workers and f=foster carers, organising events and activities and sending out book packs (containing a book, stationary, library card, reward card and Library leaflet) to newly accommodated children and those in years 6 and 9 in the OC2 cohort.

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