A couple of weeks ago, I ended my last session of Toddler Time. After the program, a young mom and her tot enthusiastically approached the desk and asked to sign up for the next Toddler Time session. Her family was new to Canada, but despite speaking very little English, she and her daughter enjoyed coming to the Toddler Time program.
Toronto Public Library's Ready for Reading programs are a great way for both newcomer children and parents to build on their English literacy skills. At Ready for Reading programs, children and parents can enjoy stories, sing songs, and listen to nursery rhymes. Learning classic children's songs and nursery rhymes can help newcomer parents and children build on their English vocabulary. Attending Ready for Reading programs is also a good way for newcomer parents and children to experience Canadian society and culture. Many of the children's rhymes, stories, and songs told and sung at Ready for Reading programs are the same rhymes, stories and songs that Canadian children grow up with. Many Ready for Reading programs also include stories, songs, and rhymes from other cultures, which helps teach children about the diverse world they live in. Children who learn these songs, stories and rhymes during their preschool years will also have an easier time integrating into their classrooms when they start school.
One newcomer parent I spoke with agrees that attending Reading for Reading programs has been extremely beneficial for her daughter:
"Me and my little daughter attended the baby time and toddler time sessions at Runnymede branch for over two years. We met friends and learned many songs and rhymes, some of which are still among her favourite - Twinkle, Twinkle is still part of our bedtime routine. When she was a year old, one of her first words after mama was up, up, up which she picked up from the Roly Poly song that we sang at the library!"
Toronto Public Library offers free Ready for Reading programs for babies (0-18 months), toddlers (19-35 months), and preschoolers (3-5 years) at branches all over the city.
If you want to learn more about Ready for Reading programs, Toronto Public Library offers some great videos and other resources, including examples of multicultural rhymes, finger plays, and action rhymes. You can also check out some of these blogs to see what other staff have to say about Ready for Reading!
If you want to get your child Ready for Reading, here are some great books that you can read together:
Share your advice with us! How do you motivate your child to read?