Tina Fellows (Images: Bookstart)
Tina Fellows has won the Bookstart 25th anniversary Rhymetime award. Here are three different viewpoints on what is a thoroughly deserved award:
Book Trust: We are very pleased to announce that the winner of the Bookstart 25th Anniversary Rhymetime Award is Tina Fellows, early years literacy officer and storyteller, Lambeth libraries.
Tina delivers Rhymetimes across several sites in Lambeth, including the Myatt’s Field Community Centre and Brixton and West Norwood Libraries.
Undeterred by the closure of a library in Streatham, Tina even set up a Rhymetime in a local pub with a community library, to ensure families had something to take their children to. She recognises both the learning and emotional support opportunities Rhymetimes can offer parents and carers who can sometimes feel isolated.
Tina received nominations from families across all her sites. Many mentioned the fun and energy of her Rhymetime sessions, as well as the gentle personal touch which makes them feel connected to other parents and carers. One stated: “Tina is someone who cares about literacy, about inclusion and makes everyone feel welcome. “She has helped me more than she knows. “And in turn, my son.”
Several quoted how contact with Tina and other families had helped them through quite difficult times.
Tina is expert at demonstrating to families how they can use rhymes and songs with their children, as well as introducing them to wider information about Bookstart and the help and resources they can find in libraries and children’s centres.
Tina says: “It is wonderful to have won and I thank all who nominated. “The collective work of Lambeth Library staff, Bookstart Coordinator Abibat Olulode and Head of Lambeth Libraries Susanna Barnes is the reason Wriggle and Rhyme Story Sessions are of quality, valued and enjoyed within libraries and community settings such as The Railway Tea Rooms.
“To win has been an ‘Oh My Goodness’ mega moment! “With a quality seal of approval from BookTrust we can provide training to other local authorities and community groups.
“As an early years literacy officer and storyteller, I provide rhyme and story sessions throughout the borough that are inclusive, interactive and fun. “I gift the various Bookstart packs, provide a home visiting service and encourage library membership for all ages.
“I love what I do because I believe in the importance of literacy for all and aim to provide a little positive difference to the lives of families I am fortunate to meet.
“Bookstart has provided many wonderful moments of gifting – when a baby looks at a book and the parent realises that their baby is enjoying and learning from a book. “BookTrust brings clarity to the importance of early literacy for babies and young children and the positive benefits it brings.
“An often-heard phrase in sessions is: ‘You are your child’s first and most consistent teacher, they learn from you.’ “The gift of reading that parents and carers can give to their children is priceless, it is a gift for life.’
Laura Swaffield of Friends of Lambeth Libraries: Lambeth librarian wins prestige national award for work with small kids – in a pub, cos council closed library. Council continues 2 reduce & de-staff libraries, tho it costs more than keeping them open.
……AND THE OFFICIAL LAMBETH COUNCIL VERSION ON ITS LOVE LAMBETH WEBSITE:
Lambeth libraries staff member wins national award Written by: Lambeth Council
Early Years Literacy Officer Tina has been named as a Rhymetime Award winner by the BookTrust for her work in getting children and families reading.
Lambeth council’s Tina Fellows has won a national award for her work in running inclusive, interactive and fun rhyme and story sessions throughout the borough.
Tina, who works as an Early Years Literacy Officer, was named as a Rhymetime Award winner by the BookTrust. The BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, and works to transform lives by getting children and families reading.
Tina was named Bookstart 25th Anniversary Rhymetime Award winner ahead of four runners-up and hundreds of entries. She said: “It is wonderful to have won and I thank all who nominated me. “I love what I do because I believe in the importance of literacy for all and aim to provide a little positive difference to the lives of families I am fortunate to meet.”
Tina runs Rhymetime sessions at Streatham Vale Pop-up Library, at the Railway Tearooms, Brixton Library, West Norwood Library, Clapham Library and Streatham Library, as well as a host of others over the years.
She is supported in her role by fellow Lambeth Library staff, including Bookstart Coordinator Abibat Olulode and Head of Lambeth Libraries Susanna Barnes.
Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, said: “I’m really delighted for Tina and am proud of the work she does for the residents of this borough. “The feedback from parents and careers about her work is brilliant and I’m sure that’s why she won this prestigious award.”
To find your nearest Lambeth Library, join to get your library card, browse the catalogue, find events in the libraries, book a computer to use in a library and more services, see the Lambeth Libraries information pages
For more about the Book Trust including their lists of Great Books to get children reading and recommended new books, start with their home page. (Source: Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website)