Reading just ten minutes a day can instil a lifelong love of books and learning in young children. Research shows that children who are read to every day from an early age have extended vocabularies, increased reading readiness and improved cognitive skills when they enter school.
Swan Hill Regional Library is participating in 1000 Books Before School, the first statewide program in Australia designed to work with families to promote early literacy skills and combat the scourge of adult illiteracy in our communities.
“The ability to read is an essential life skill for everyone, and a child’s development in the early years is so important. Through this reading initiative, public libraries can empower parents to be effective first teachers, and prepare their children for school,” said Kate Torney, CEO, State Library Victoria.
The library is implementing this early literacy initiative to engage parents in reading 1000 books with their children from birth until they begin school. The campaign calls for families to provide positive and nurturing early learning experiences by sharing stories with their children every day.
“Public libraries play a vital role in supporting families with their children’s early literacy. We’re delighted that this program encourages parents across Victoria to read to their kids regularly, and help them to develop a love of language and reading,” said Jenny Ruffy, Vice President, Public Libraries Victoria Network.
A child’s brain goes through an amazing period of development in the pre-school years. Studies have shown that by age three, the brain has reached 80% of the adult size. Early literacy forms the basis for future learning that can last a lifetime.
Through the 1000 Books Before School program, the library will support reader and literacy development by providing families with a framework and incentives to encourage a reading habit, and a love of stories in young children.
1000 Books Before School is a joint initiative of State Library Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria Network.
Parents and caregivers who wish to participate in the program should register at the Swan Hill Regional Library.