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A new community-based program designed to help improve literacy rates among children before they start school was launched in Lismore this week.
Lismore Lets Read is funded by the YWCA Lismore Communities for Children (through a $30,000 grant from the Department of Family and Community Services) and the generosity of the Rotary Club of Lismore, which will contribute $2,400 every year to sustain the program.
The program, aimed at children aged between 0 and five years, includes a free kit for parents with books, a DVD and tips on on how to help children discover the joys of reading.
Richmond-Tweed Regional Library librarian, Nicole Eldridge, said the major focus of the program is to encourage parents to spend time reading with their children so they become familiar with words and language before entering a classroom.
The library is aware that for a considerable amount of time local schools have been concerned about the increasing number of children who begin school with poor literacy and language skills, Ms Eldridge said. These kits are available for children aged four months, 12 months, 18 months and three years, and people who participate will be urged to join the library to further encourage reading.
Lismore Lets Read kits are now available from the Richmond-Tweed Regional Library in Lismore and Goonellabah. The program will be closely monitored to gauge its effectiveness and if successful will be expanded into other parts of the Northern Rivers.
For more information phone 6625 1415 or drop into the library.