Pre-school schemes to cultivate reading habit

We thank Ms Maria Loh Mun Foong for sharing her views on the importance of cultivating reading habits in children ("Make reading a part of children's lives"; April 15).

The National Library Board (NLB) recognises that it is very important for children to develop a love for reading from a young age.

Ms Loh suggested creating a pre-school version of the Read@Work programme. We are happy to share that NLB has been working with close to 800 pre-schools to nurture and develop pre-reading skills in young children.

Under the Early Read programme, all pre-schools are entitled to receive Early Literacy Activity Toolkits, and workshops are organised throughout the year to train educators.

To further support pre-schools that serve the low- and middle-income families, NLB provides each child with an Early Literacy Starter Kit. It contains materials such as posters on the alphabet and rhymes, as well as instructional cards that encourage parents to read and learn together with their children.

In addition, NLB provides regular bulk loans to pre-schools to help them develop a good collection of great reads which encourage reading from an early age.

NLB presents the Reading Innovation Award every five years to recognise pre-schools that implement innovative and effective ways to foster a love for reading among young children.

We encourage parents to make use of the rich resources and programmes at our network of 26 public libraries.

Specifically for parents, our public libraries frequently conduct workshops on topics such as storytelling techniques and how to choose the right picture books for children.

These workshops can help to guide parents in engaging their children to read.

For more information, visit www.nlb.gov.sg/golibrary/ for library programmes and activities.

We will be reviewing Ms Loh's suggestion to make reservations more convenient for users.

Together, we look forward to developing a nation of readers who read more, read widely and read together.

Catherine Lau (Ms)

Assistant Chief Executive

Public Library Services

National Library Board

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2016, with the headline 'Pre-school schemes to cultivate reading habit'. Print Edition | Subscribe