While the benefits of reading aloud to children from an early age are well known, 46% of Australians still lack the literacy skills they need to meet the demands of everyday life and work. Quirindi Library recognised this gap and approached the Friends of Quirindi Library (FOQL) to purchase a set of Baby Book Packs aimed at new parents and children aged 2 years and under. Reading, rhyming, singing and talking to babies helps defend them from potential reading problems, supports vocabulary and intellectual development and assists in adult-child bonding.
Pat Wallace, 2013 President of the Friends of Quirindi Library, made an application to the final round of the Shenhua Watermark Community Fund for the puchase of the collection and in 2013 was among 18 other successful applicants.
Mrs Wallace said, “The FOQL were extremely pleased to be successful in their application as under normal fundraising circumstances it would have taken us four to five years to raise these funds. We are very thankful to Shenhua for recognising the importance of this project and to be able to establish such a supportive environment for early literary development in our community.”
Gerry McDonald, Shenhua HR Manager, said, “Stories, music and reading has been demonstrated as the most effective way for a young child to develop literacy, imagination and problem solving skills. These are the skills that wll be the prime determinants of how successful they will be throughout their lives so Shenhua is very pleased to be able to help the Liverpool Plains community in this way."
Liverpool Plains Shire Council Senior Librarian, Marcela Krasny, Councillor Mary Roberts, Gerry McDonald (Shenhua HR Manager), Debbie Watson (Shenhua Community Liaison Officer) and Pat Wallace (Friends of Quirindi Library Past President) at the official launch of the Baby Book Packs.