Street library opens world of books to children
We all know that reading to your child can be a beautiful bonding experience, but studies show there is far more happening in these moments than just some parent and child time.
Research shows an important determinant for a child’s success at school is how much they are exposed to reading from a young age.
Goodstart Early Learning Yarrawonga centre director Tara Middleton said research into the benefits of reading prompted her to set up a street library at the front entrance of the centre.
Families and community members can borrow a book, which doesn’t need to be checked in or out, and return or replace it when finished.
“We believe strongly in the importance of reading to children and the benefits of introducing literacy in the early years,” Mrs Middleton said.
“And we really hope that both our centre families and the wider community will get great enjoyment from our installation. So far we’ve had lots of members of the community offering to donate books and we’ve got families choosing books to take home.”
Mrs Middleton and educator Hayley Bishop came up with the idea after spotting Street Library Australia’s Facebook page and, with the help of Mrs Middleton’s husband James, made it a reality.
Mr Middleton, who runs business Midzy’s Maintenance and Carpentry, built the library, and installed it at the front of the centre.
Street Library Australia was created to encourage literacy by offering people the chance to read new books, and to encourage community by bringing neighbourhoods in Australia closer together. It was set up in Australia last year and founder Nic Lowe aims to see 500 throughout the country by 2020.
Goodstart early childhood educator Lisa Palethorpe says reading with children at any age, earlier the better, is the key to success.
“In the first five years, a child’s brain is developing rapidly and at a faster rate than at any other time of their life. Reading to your child and then teaching them to read promotes healthy brain development that lasts a life-time,” Ms Palethorpe said.
Spending just 15 minutes reading to children each night can greatly increase a child’s academic outcomes and increase their cognitive skills.
In Reading to young children: a head start in life
, authors G Kalb and J.C. van Ours, reveal parental reading to children increases the child’s reading and other cognitive skills at least up to the age of 10 or 11 years old.