Tipperary County Council senior executive librarian Emer O’Brien and Tipperary Childcare Committee CEO Aileen Healy at Happy Days in Ballyporeen.
Tipperary Library Service and Tipperary Childcare Committee have come together to promote storytime, reading and books to young families. Library membership is free for everyone and they would love to see as many families benefit from the gift of books and reading.
To help encourage the habit of bedtime stories, nine childcare centres have been provided with a bundle of 'bedtime storytime bags' for families to borrow. Families can borrow a bag for one or two weeks and then exchange it for a new one every week. Each bag contains a bedtime storytime bear, a mixture of story books and fact books, and information and tips for parents about reading and storytime at home. This free service is kindly co-funded by CYSPC, Healthy Ireland, LCDC, Pobal, Tipperary Library Service and Tipperary Childcare Committee.
The childcare centres currently participating are Gortnahoe Community Playschool, Spraoi Playschool (Tipperary Town), Fethard Community Playgroup, Happy Days (Ballyporeen), Little Explorers (Clonmel), ABC Pre-school (Dundrum), Little Learners (Roscrea), Chuckles Montessori (Newport) and Baile Beag Montessori (Littleton).
“I have been working in the area of children’s library services and literacy support services for over 15 years and what is becoming very apparent is that the habit of bedtime stories is in decline. This is a real shame. I have crossed paths with teachers, principals, speech and language therapists, childcare providers, literacy specialists, child development specialists and occupational therapists in my professional life and the message is always simple and clear - shared reading with your young child from when they are a baby helps language development, speech development and gives them an easier start at school. It is also a very special time to cuddle and connect with your child and it is great fun too. Feedback so far is very positive - parents and kids are loving the bags,” Tipperary County Council senior executive librarian Emer O’Brien says.
Apart from the bedtime storytimes bags, families are encouraged to visit their local library to support their reading habits at home. All families can borrow up to 12 books per person for free from their local library, where there is lots of advice to help parents get the most out of storytime and information about upcoming events. Visit Tipperary County Council for more information.
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