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Book Start

The reading-promotion programme “Book Start” is aimed at 3-4 year olds and their parents in order to acquaint pre-school age children with the library and arouse interest in books and reading. The programme has been elaborated by the Children’s Literature Centre at the National Library of Latvia and is implemented by the National Library Support Foundation in cooperation with public libraries.

Books are invaluable in forming the personality, offering knowledge and emotional experience, they are irreplaceable in children’s harmonious development and life-quality in later life. Research shows that reading as pass-time is losing its positions among other habits. Thus, reading skills are on the decline. 

Most likely it is impossible to enjoy book reading as a school task or teach a person to love books at a certain age. The best time to enjoy books is during childhood. And the library is a place where one can do that for free.

The “Book Start” is a special series of events targeted at 3-4 year olds at the library, named “The Owl School”.  The community librarian invites families with 3-4 year old children to visit the local library, paying special attention to families who are not registered as readers. During the visits the librarian shows the family around, takes them to the children’s corner or room, shows them books and games, plays with the children, reads to them or engages them into educative games. After several visits the child feels himself or herself at home at the library and the family is likely to return.

At the completion of the series of visits or when “graduating the “Owl School”” the child receives a “Book Start” set of gifts: a rucksack for borrowed books adorned with the symbol of the project “The Owl”, a pamphlet on Reading Together, a gift book suitable for the age, a and a toy owl, as a memento of the visit to the library motivating them to visit it again. 

During year 2017, 47 libraries and 2000 children were involved.This year it's planned to support 1000 children.

Your donation will help attract more children to book-reading! Every 12.50 EUR allows a family to attend the “Owl School” and become book-friendly.

The Project is placed online on: 25.10.2018

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