YWAM Mercy understands that reading is essential for child development. Fostering a love of reading while children are in preschool is important, especially now that attractive internet games and shows constantly compete for their attention. Because of this, we focus on establishing a regular reading habit even before children are able to read on their own.
In one community in Luc Nam, YWAM Mercy has supported the establishment of four child-friendly libraries, two in preschools. The idea of having a library in a preschool is really new for this community because, of course, children at this age still cannot read by themselves and parents do not generally read to young children. However, because we know habits that are started early have a better chance of continuing, we encourage communities to equip their preschools with libraries too.
In addition to the typical indoor library space which includes reference books for teachers, an outdoor library provides an inviting place for preschool children to develop a love for reading. Because it is outdoors where the children play, they can freely flow from being physically active on the playground to reading and creating in the library. The library and activities inside can be seen before the children enter, removing any sense of strangeness or intimidation for those who may not be familiar with libraries. It’s easy for parents or teachers to read to children here or for teachers to organize reading-related activities like games or art projects that relate to a story in this friendly and inviting space. There are also enough books available for parents to borrow to read to their children at home too.
I never thought that we’d have a library in the preschool. But it really does help my children love reading books. They have started asking me to read books for them whenever I have time.