AMHERST – Cumberland’s libraries are working to get tomorrow’s readers started today.
For the fifth consecutive year, the libraries are hosting the Children and Parents Reading Together program across the county beginning this month.
The program has the goal of introducing books to children ages three to five to help instill a love of reading that will continue through the rest of their lives.
“It’s an eight-week program that helps teach the children about the alphabet using books, games, songs and stories,” Cumberland Public Libraries youth services librarian Chantelle Taylor said. “It not only teaches them about the alphabet and learning their name but it also helps get them ready for school by having them get used to sitting still and waiting their turn and raising their hand.”
The first hour of the program includes games and stories followed by a snack and a story and crafts over the final 30 minutes. The main focus is teaching reading readiness skills to preschoolers and to enhance the parents ability to support early literacy at home. Parents and caregivers learn new ways to introduce reading into all aspects of everyday life.
“It’s a way for the parents to see their children learning,” preschool outreach services clerk Julie Allison-Savage said. “The parents are there with them and they’re seeing what they’re doing. The games we’ve created are games that can be easily recreated at home.”
Families are introduced to the library and each child gets his or her own library card and reading journal to keep track of what they have read. This encourages independence in the child.
Fall sessions are being offered in Amherst, Pugwash, Parrsboro and Advocate while the winter sessions will be offered for eight weeks in River Hebert, Springhill, River Hebert and perhaps Amherst again if there is enough interest.
Each group has six to eight children.
There is no fee for the program, which is funded by the Family Literacy Initiative Endowment Fund.
To register for the Amherst program, call the library at 667-2549.