Literacy matters – Early Years Programs
Following the various sessions around the IFLA Congress – yes – literary matters very much and we saw some great program examples.
I’m taking the opportunity to share and early years literacy program from my City.
City of Gold Coast Libraries in Australia present a range of early years literacy programs with a primary focus on language development, modelling positive reading practices and providing a fun nurturing environment for children to engage with language, books and rhymes.
In 2015 City Libraries committed to incorporating Language Priority and Conversational Reading, key elements of the Abecedarian Approach, into our Early Years Program. The Abecedarian Approach, developed in 1972, has been shown through longitudinal studies to have positive cognitive, social and health effects for children, during their school years and into adulthood.
Along with the very popular, Baby Rhyme Time, Toddler Time and Story time sessions programmed within library spaces, City Libraries have also been taking high-quality opportunities for sharing. talking and reading (STAR) out into the community, and especially to areas identified as having a higher percentage of children at risk of low-literacy. With funding from the Queensland State Government’s First 5 Forever grant (administered by State Library of Queensland), City of Gold Coast Libraries, through cross-sector engagement, is working to identify gaps in the community. Our skilled team set up ‘pop-up libraries’ in parks and community halls. The STAR sessions focuson building relationship with parents over time, whilst providing them with the support, encouragement, skills, awareness and confidence to be able to give their children the best opportunity for success.