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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach

- March 2008 -

Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia Volume 9, Issue 307 March 2008     



Pittwater Council has announced the launch of the BookBabes program on 21 February 2008.

BookBabes, modelled on the successful UK-based BookStart program, has been developed by local librarians Jane Smith and Heather Thomson. BookBabes is designed to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading in very young children.

The program provides a BookBabes pack for every new baby born in Pittwater from 2008, containing a free library bag with a board book, a guide for parents and carers written by Mem Fox, a recommended reading list, information on the importance of reading and library membership to both Avalon and Mona Vale libraries. The library engaged local graphic designer Jo Smith to design the Bookbabes pack.

Cathy Howie, Mona Vale’s Library Services Coordinator, said the program would introduce babies to the sound of words and the stimulation of pictures.

“With BookBabes we hope to inspire, provoke and create a love of reading that will help give young children a head start in life,” Ms Howie said.

Ms Howie said that sharing books with babies and toddlers provided powerful benefits in helping children learn to communicate and understand the world around them. “An early introduction to reading also strengthens the bond between parent and child,” she said.

Ms Howie said that research conducted in the UK showed that children who had participated in the BookStart program were clearly ahead in both literacy and numeracy skills upon entering school.

Mona Vale Library will be distributing the Bookbabes bags from the end of February. The bags will be available to all babies born during 2008. For more information visit the library web site at www.pittlink.net