Promoting early literacy with Reading to Success

One of the fascinating pieces of information shared at the launch of the Reading to Success program at Aaniin Public Library Jan. 20 was, dyslexia occurs only in the English language. With most other languages considered phonetic, clear communication skills can be an obstacle for newcomers and their young children who are learning to communicate in English.

Reading to Success is a collaboration between the Markham Public Library (MPL) and Youth and Parents Association of Markham (YPAM) in a bid to promote family literacy. YPAM aims to provide reading supports to emerging readers from junior kindergarten to Grade 2, within the library literacy mandate. The goal for the junior children is to have them reading by the first grade. Families can participate in Reading to Success activities at Aaniin Public Library every Saturday starting Family Literacy Day, Jan. 27.

“We know one of the most important things you can do with a baby or child is read together and share stories,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who welcomed the program collaborating parents with community resources.

To encourage and support families in the habit of reading, Markham Public Library is also introducing the Ready to Read library card. The new initiative is designed with their youngest library users in mind. It will allow children five and under to check-out children’s books without accruing fines for overdue items – eliminating financial barriers for low-income families.

“I hope this new card will encourage all, not just children, to pick up a book and invite imagination into your lives,” said Scarpitti.

In their effort to help kids in the community reach their full potential, YPAM also offers a mathematics contest, speech contest and an annual spelling bee for children of all ages.

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