Pre-loved books prove pre­cious

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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.

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