Wicklow County Council Library Service is inviting 4 and 5-year-old children due to start school this coming September in to their local library to collect a little bag of books and begin their library membership journey.
The stories in the books are about starting school, being happy and making friends, all very important milestones in the lives of young children.
The distribution of the book bags – which are free – will commence this week, ready to be collected by parents and children from this Wednesday April 13th.
There are 170 plus Early Learning Centres in County Wicklow operating under the guidance and support of Wicklow County Childcare Committee.
Almost 3,000 children attending these preschool facilities will be receiving invitations to call to their local library to collect their bag of books.
Children will also receive a specially designed wallet to hold their new library card. Parents and caregivers will be given information to guide the transition from pre-school to junior infants and to support the children on their learning journey.
The project was greeted with great enthusiasm from library staff across Wicklow County Council Library Service and they look forward to welcoming lots of children in this cohort in the coming weeks. They ask that each child is accompanied by their parent/s or caregivers when they come to collect their bag of books.
The titles included in the bag are stories about starting school, being happy and making new friends – all very important to children starting school. Children who will be attending a Gaelscoil will receive a bag of books as Gaeilge.
Library staff have been enjoying meeting ELC staff working in Playgroups and preschools across the county since the launch of the First5 Bookbag initiative last year and very much look forward to building on this relationship in the future.
Speaking today, Cllr Shay Cullen, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council, said: “Reading is so beneficial for learning, imagination and creativity, and stories can really help children to understand and deal with the steps they take as they grow, like starting school. It is hoped that once the children visit the library to pick up their book bag, that along with their family they will come back again and again to keep their bag filled up with borrowed books and enjoy other activities.”
Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Mr Brian Gleeson, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity for parents all across the county to drop into their local libraries and find out about the various activities and resources available. Your library is ready to greet your child and the entire family, there is something for every age at your local library and a library card provides free access at point of delivery.”