SOME big benefits and “beautiful experiences” await when caregivers read to children, a librarian has said on World Read Aloud Day.
Tamworth children’s services librarian Kelly Makepeace said literacy was not only a vital tool in everyday life, but also allowed families to share some special moments.
She dropped in to read to the children at Milestones Early Learning Centre Oxley Vale yesterday, the books catering to different ages.
Mrs Makepeace said reading aloud could start long before a child even knew what a book was.
“Even little babies, from birth – reading to them actually promotes that bonding with the parents,” she said.
“It gives families beautiful experiences, but it also exposes children to language and supports their language development, through exposure to new vocabulary and concepts.
“Then, as a child grows, they learn about book concepts – that emergent literacy – and it starts preparing them to learn to read when they get to school.”
‘They’re going to love it’
Milestones early childhood teacher Renae Ballantine said the children had “thoroughly enjoyed” the reading, songs and even an associated craft activity.
She agreed a child was never too young. “It’s not necessarily them interacting with the book but listening to your voice and picking up those sounds, and engaging in that way.”
Ms Ballantine said reading was a “super important” part of the centre’s day.
“It builds the foundations for them, heading off to school, and also builds their interest in reading – if they love it here at a young age, they’re going to love it when they get older.”
Reading to children has become even easier since Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library launched in the Tamworth region, Mrs Makepeace said.
The foundation sends a free book to a child every month until they turn five is the local contact for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which has recently launched in the Tamworth region.
“It’s open to children born from January 1, 2019, in the Tamworth local government area,” she said.
“All you have to do is come into any of our library branches with their blue book, and we’ll take care of the rest.”