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Library, Health Unit team up to help children read

SIMCOE, ON, JUNE 16, 2008 – A special package of children’s books geared to developing language and literacy skills in preschoolers in now available in the public libraries of Haldimand and Norfolk Counties thanks to a joint initiative with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s Preschool Speech and Language Program.

“Speech and Language Team members created a special list of books to encourage parents to share the joy of reading at home with their children while simultaneously stimulating key speech and language skills,” explained Speech and Language Assistant Shauna Barrow.

The books reinforce 32 speech sounds or language areas the Speech and Language Program often targets with preschool-aged clients. These include the sounds p, b, m, n, t, d, h, w, f, v, sh, z, s, s-blends, k, g, r-blends and l-blends. The books were also carefully selected to increase phonological awareness, such as rhyming, alphabet knowledge and first-sound identification.

Both County library systems agreed to purchase the books on the list, if they were not already available for circulation, but 12 of the books were not obtainable through the library ordering process. The Speech and Language staff subsequently located the books through the Internet and donated them to each County.

“As a result, all of these books are now available at local libraries and we are encouraging parents to make use of them,” Barrow noted. “Sharing these books with your pre-school children will give them a real head-start as they move on into the school system.”

Media contact: Shauna Barrow, Speech and Language Assistant
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Speech and Language Program
519-426-6170 Ext. 3258