Tiana Arries, a baby of almost eleven months old from Borcherds, became the youngest library member at the Conville library at the age of eight months old.
How did this happen you may ask, well as Victor Arries, her dad, would tell you him and his wife, Berildene, are both avid readers.
“My wife (Berildene Arries) and I, were blessed with this beautiful bundle of joy named, Tiana, on the 21st of July last year. We started reading to Tiana from the age of 3 months old. She immediately showed interest in especially the baby rhymes that were played to her. “
“At the age of 8 months I decided to apply for a Library membership for her at the local Conville Library.
At that stage we did not know that she might be considered as the youngest member of the Library. It was only when I touched base with, Rachel Williams, Manager of George Libraries, that the idea dawned upon us.”
Arries said the aim was just to inculcate the habit of reading as early as possible. “We know that reading will assist her in recognizing pictures and learning words but the most rewarding is the closeness that develops between us. I would like to encourage other parents to also start at the early age and make George and ultimately South Africa a reading country.
Rachel Williams, Manager: George Libraries said, the practice of book sharing, that is to make children aware of books and sharing time with them was at one stage rolled out in Touwsranten in August 2016.
This was when the Director of The Seven Passes Initiative, Wilmi Dippenaar invited Prof Peter Cooper and Prof Lynne Murray (Oxford, England) to teach facilitators how they should encourage and provide training to parents to read to their child. Not only does this develop the cognitive abilities of the child, but it also strengthens the bond between parent and child.
“It might come as a bit of a surprise to hear that babies can share books with their parents. Babies obviously cannot read. Yet, if they regularly share books with a parent or caretaker, this can be enormously helpful to their development. In fact, children who have had regular book-sharing adapt to school much quicker than other babies, they learn much faster, and they generally do much better at school. So, it would be very helpful for parents if they learned how to do good book-sharing with their baby.
Photo: Dad, Victor Arries, reads to his little bundle of joy, Tiana, who became the youngest reader Conville Library.