Pre-loved books prove precious
Wimmera people can give their pre-loved children’s picture books a new home for a good cause through a Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN program.
Horsham’s Ss Michael and John’s Primary School is running a book drive to support the WSMLLEN’S Let’s Read program.
LLEN administration officer Lorraine Merton said Let’s Read programs across the Wimmera provided books for young families via ‘pop-up libraries’ in public places throughout the community.
“The first pop-up libraries in our region were set up at Warracknabeal in 2016 as part of the Warracknabeal Oral Reading Development Strategy – WORDS,” she said.
“This program aimed to improve literacy standards and increase the awareness of the importance of reading to children from a very young age.”
Mrs Merton said the LLEN had worked with partners to establish the Let’s Read program in Horsham, Hindmarsh, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack municipalities.
“Pop-up libraries have appeared in waiting rooms, playgroups, child-care facilities and places where families with young children gather. Tubs of pre-loved books are made available in these places to encourage parents to read with their children,” she said.
Research shows that language development in young children is dependent on exposure to words through books, stories, songs and conversation.
Mrs Merton said reading to children was just one piece in the puzzle of language development.
“The more children are exposed to language, the greater the language development and the preschool years are a vital stage in this process,” she said.
“Reading to preschoolers on a regular basis is valuable preparation for their formal schooling and is arguably one of the best investments in their education.”
Mrs Merton said the Wimmera-southern Mallee had 115 pop-up libraries, 31 in Hindmarsh Shire, 21 in Horsham Rural City, 16 in West Wimmera and 47 in Yarriambiack.
She encouraged people who would like to donate children’s picture story books, suitable for pre-school and early primary aged children, to drop them at Ss Michael and John’s Primary School in Horsham.
“They will support the next generation of young readers,” she said.