Love for lit­er­acy

Cartwright chil­dren en­joy­ing read­ing pro­gram; lo­cal li­brary was once slated for clo­sure

The Labradorian - - Editorial - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY danette@nl.rogers.com

A weekly chil­dren’s sum­mer read­ing pro­gram at Cartwright’s Pub­lic Li­brary is prov­ing to be a tremen­dous suc­cess.

Bar­bie Mesher en­joys tak­ing her three-year-old daugh­ter, Ava, to the get-to­geth­ers.

Mesher has been read­ing to Ava since birth.

Her child now rec­og­nizes let­ters and is ea­ger to pick up a book, she said.

“I read to Ava ev­ery night for 20-30 min­utes,” Mesher noted.

Ava’s love of read­ing is likely passed down from her mother who also de­vel­oped a love of books at an early age, thanks to her un­cle, Tick Pardy.

“Un­cle Tick (who has since passed away) would come up to my house and read to me ev­ery night. Some of the sto­ries he would read to me was ‘Them Days,’” Mesher said.

While iPads are great tools and there are great apps and pro­grams for kids to use, Mesher said, there is noth­ing that can re­place a book in a child’s hand.

Dur­ing the school year, Mesher said, she or­ders books for Ava from Scholas­tic. Al­though the child is not old enough for school, the teach­ers at the school in­clude Mesher’s or­der when order­ing books for their stu­dents.

The read­ing club at the li­brary is also great for chil­dren to in­ter­act with oth­ers their age, Mesher said.

Mesher is de­lighted with the about face the provin­cial gov­ern­ment did when it an­nounced, in 2016, that over half of the prov­ince’s pub­lic li­braries would close. Cartwright was one of the li­braries on the chop­ping block.

“New­found­land has one of the worst lit­er­acy rates in the coun­try. (The clo­sure of the li­brary) would have been a detri­ment to our com­mu­nity,” she said.

“We have lim­ited re­sources here as it is. To take away our li­brary, that would be a big thing for us to lose. We don’t have a big pop­u­la­tion and (at a read­ing pro­gram get-to­gether) in early July, over 20 kids came out.”

Sum­mer pro­gram

The Cana­dian Pe­di­atric So­ci­ety notes that chil­dren’s early ex­pe­ri­ences with books and read­ing help pre­pare them for school and set them up for suc­cess later in life.

Ac­cord­ing to the so­ci­ety’s web­site ( HYPERLINK “http://www. cpa.ca” www.cpa.ca) ex­pos­ing ba­bies to books and read­ing in­creases vo­cab­u­lary and makes it eas­ier for them to learn to read later on. Early ex­po­sure to lan­guage — whether through books, words, or songs — can help pre­vent prob­lems and pro­mote health, the web­site notes.

Cartwright li­brar­ian Hazel Dyson is de­lighted that so many chil­dren and their par­ents are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sum­mer read­ing pro­gram.

While geared to­wards chil­dren from birth to age 12, Dyson said,

older youth are also en­cour­aged to take part in the pro­gram.

A par­ent/guardian stays with chil­dren un­der 10, she said.

Dyson said stud­ies show that chil­dren who don’t read dur­ing the sum­mer have to catch up on their read­ing when they re­turn to school in Septem­ber.

“There are some lovely books here at the li­brary (for both chil­dren and adults) and we do some pro­grams to in­clude games for the lit­tle ones, and a few crafts, so that keeps the chil­dren in­ter­ested,” she said.

Older chil­dren at­tend­ing the read­ing pro­gram of­ten spend time on the com­put­ers, she said.

“There are pro­grams on the com­puter where they can read books and the re­views for the rec­om­mended reads (for their age group) for the sum­mer. Also, there are ac­tiv­i­ties and games that they can do as well,” she said.

SUB­MIT­TED

Bar­bie Mesher’s three-year-old daugh­ter, Ava en­joy­ing a book at the Cartwright Pub­lic Li­brary.

SUB­MIT­TED

Nikki Brown-Dyson and her daugh­ter Car­leigh and son Sam dur­ing the sum­mer read­ing pro­gram at the Cartwright Pub­lic Li­brary.

SUB­MIT­TED

Group photo of some re­cent par­tic­i­pants in the sum­mer read­ing club at the Cartwright Pub­lic Li­brary.

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