National Libraries Day on 7 February is a fitting time to encourage young people and parents to take up reading.
That is the message from Education Minister, John O''Dowd, as he continues to highlight ˜Education Works'''', the advertising campaign to encourage families to get involved in a child''s learning.
Speaking about the campaign, the Minister said: ''It is never too early for parents and families to get involved with their children''s education and reading is an excellent way of doing this. Children of all ages should be encouraged to read as it has educational benefits later in life.
I am committed to raising standards and closing the gap in educational attainment between children from the least and most deprived communities. Parents and other family members can help achieve this by doing simple things with their children that will help them do better at school.
National Libraries Day raises the profile of libraries through a series of events which highlight what they have to offer and encourages people to visit and register with them.
Concluding, the Minister said: ''Registering at a library is an easy process and borrowing books is absolutely free. Some local libraries also offer programmes tailored specifically to young children. Programmes such as ˜Rhythm and Rhyme''and ˜Bedtime Stories'' introduce children to the wonders of rhymes, songs and stories and provide a great opportunity for children to have fun and learn in a relaxed atmosphere.
As your child''s first teacher, I encourage parents to visit their local library and make use of the services available to them. Playing a positive role in a child''s education helps them increase their knowledge, skills and confidence and improves their life chances.Why not enter our Free Prize Giveaway for a set of Harry and the Bucket Full of Dinosaurs books - Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/foldni like and share. Winner will be drawn on Monday 9 February.