Needy kids get help to build reading habit

Needy kids get help to build reading habit

SINGAPORE - Puppets, posters and books were all included in the National Library Board's (NLB) new early literacy starter kit for low-income families.

The pack, which comes with two books - Dear Zoo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar - and a separate reading guide, was developed to encourage parents to read to their children from birth.

It is part of a continuing effort by the NLB to get parents to inculcate the love of reading from young. Aimed at children up to six years old, the new kit was given to 370 families living in Yishun on Sunday at Chong Pang Community Centre.

This is part of the North West Community Development Council (CDC) and NLB's WeCare @ Nee Soon - Ready for School programme which prepares kindergarten students for Primary 1. The families also received a $150 bursary from the CDC to purchase books and education-related items.

Another 830 kits will be distributed throughout the North West district by the CDC by year-end.

NLB is also working with other self-help groups such as Mendaki, the Chinese Development Assistance Council, the Eurasian Association and other CDCs to distribute the kit to families with a total income of less than $3,500 a month.

"As working parents, many of us have very little time to read to our children, more so lower-income families who might not have books on hand," said Ms Zubaidah Mohsen, 47, a senior manager at NLB. She believes the kit bridges this gap and helps to spark an interest in the young.

Workshops are also being held at events where the starter kits are given out to teach parents how to use the kit, said Ms Zubaidah.

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