Reading opens the door to your child’s early academic success, imparts a love of learning and leads to higher grades in every subject.
Numerous studies have shown that strong oral language skills are the basis for literacy development. When children learn to read at an early age, they have greater general knowledge, expand their vocabulary and become more fluent readers.
They also have improved attention spans and better concentration. With these benefits in mind, the Ministry of Social Protection/ Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health/Maternal and Child Health Unit and the National Library is embarking on a National Reading Programme aimed at prompting Early Reading for children from birth to three years old.
The objectives of the programme are to promote a love and appreciation for books among toddlers and preschoolers and to encourage parents to spend time reading to their children at an early age.
According to information released from the Ministry, children between the ages of 0 -3 years and their parents are urged to join the programme.
In order to execute “the Back to Basic Reading Programme,” the collaborating partners will utilise their available material and human resources such as registration and licensing officers (RLOs) from the CPA, adolescence health nurses and community workers from Ministry of Public Health as well as personnel from the National Library.
The aforementioned category of workers will be making regular visits to the Maternal Child Health Clinics to conduct information/discussions and demonstration sessions on how parents can read with their young children.
In addition, mobile book stands/shelves will be placed at Maternal Child Health Clinics to encourage parents to select books to use with their children while waiting to be seen by the Health Care Providers.
It is expected that the programme will help children build an interest in books at an early age. Children will begin to develop the requisite pre-reading, literacy and mathematical skills and expand their imagination; develop a lifelong love for books and reading and be given the right start for positive growth and development.
Additionally, it is expected that parents will spend time reading to their children while building stronger relationships.
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