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1000 books before age 6
Northshore Public Libraries have been promoting a new programme aimed at children six years old and under. The programme is called “Read 1000 Books Before Age 6” and at first glance it would seem impossible for a young child to read that many books. Upon further investigating it becomes clear that it’s not really about the child actually reading but more about the idea of parents reading to their children and getting them interested in learning from a young age.
Donna Mikeluk, chief librarian at the Schreiber Public Library, had arranged a zoom meeting with a few other libraries in the area to talk about the project.
Ontario Library Services is the new amalgamated group that administers grants to libraries and helps to develop programming ideas for libraries in Ontario. Sumiye Sugawara runs the Nipigon library and played a big role in organizing the project and sourced most of the books that would be used in the programme. Parents register their children and they get a first library card. Sumiye says that a long lasting bond is formed between the children and parents when they participate in special activities together. The simple act of reading a bedtime story strengthens that bond. Studies have showed that children who are exposed to reading at an early age do better in school and literacy can also help with writing skills. The project also highlighted co operation with different libraries working together in the region and pooling resources and sharing skills.
Linda Williamson invited Coral Lengyel to the library who brought along her son Odin to talk about the programme and the impact it has had on her child. Most younger kids haven’t learned how to read yet and some of the very young ones can barely walk or talk but the act of reading to a child can have positive impacts on their development.
One of the biggest hurdles for parents is the cost of buying so many books and that’s where the library plays a major role. Children’s books in general are larger and more colourful and hold a child's attention easier.
As for the 1000 books goal, it starts to seem more attainable if you do some math. As Linda points out, if you read just one book a day to your child you will reach the 1000 mark in less than three years. Coral points out that she has averaged 10 books per day and is always on the look out for new material.
Schreiber Community Media is a non profit organization established with the aim of providing media production services and training for the residents of Schreiber and surrounding areas. Schreiber is located on the north shore of Lake Superior approximately two hours east of Thunder Bay.
The Schreiber Media Centre is locating in the Schreiber Public Library and includes tools for recording, live streaming and post production of audio and video.