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'We Likkle, But We Tallawah'

Published:Wednesday | April 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Director general of the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), Patricia Roberts (left), reveals the campaign poster to Saffrey Brown, general manager of the JN Foundation, at the signing of the funding agreement held at the JLS headquarters recently. - CONTRIBUTED

JAMAICA LIBRARY Service (JLS) and the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation (JNBS Foundation) recently signed a funding agreement that will facilitate the islandwide expansion of the 'We Likkle, But We Tallawah: Parents Reading With Babies and Toddlers' programme.

The project is an early-literacy outreach programme that is open to all parents and their children aged 0-6, but especially targeted to parents from within the 'low income' bracket.

JNBS Foundation's funding of the programme is the vehicle through which each parish library's Tiny Tots collection (children's books and story hour material such as finger puppets, musical instruments and felt boards) will be augmented and library staff will also be trained in the instruction of parents in 'read aloud' techniques. The signing event took place at the JLS headquarters recently.

Patricia Roberts, director general of the JLS, commended Jamaica National for "demonstrating a continued commitment to reading and literacy through the work and financial support of its foundation."

She further stated that the foundation's support would provide a boost to the reach of the programme; impacting positively on the development of a number of children.

Saffrey Brown, JNBS Foundation's general manager, indicated that as a parent herself, she noticed an absence of locally available early-literacy programmes that are specially designed for both parents and their children.

Very delighted

She stated that the JNBS Foundation provides support to a number of educational programmes but is especially delighted to be involved in this groundbreaking early-literacy project.

'We Likkle, but We Tallawah' was conceptualised by the JLS in partnership with the National Parenting Support Commission of the Ministry of Education. The project will contribute to national development by fostering healthy brain development and parent-child bonding, as well as provide children with the early literacy skills that are critical for school success. These objectives will be achieved through the engagement of parents in a routine of 'book sharing' with their children.

The JLS offers a variety of books for babies and toddlers so that parents do not have to purchase books to enjoy the benefits of reading with their children (including the unborn).

Public libraries also provide the optimal environments, free of charge for parents to indulge in reading activities with their children.