SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Five dedicated individuals sparked reading success at five different Day Care Centers as part of the Read to Me Book Start Campaign 2023, aiming to promote early literacy, and instilling a love for reading among young children.
During the weeklong event, Five Readers engaged enthusiastic children in interactive and captivating reading sessions led by dedicated volunteers and staff members.
The readers came from various backgrounds, including educators and community members who are passionate about literature and early childhood development. Each reader visited a different daycare center, where they read stories, encouraged discussions, and introduced children to the enchanting world of books.
The readers focused on age-appropriate books, sparking creativity, imagination, and early language development in both of the country’s language of instruction, Dutch and English.
The readers were:
Marilyn Clark-Waterfort, reader at Ideal Pre-School, reading the story titled Waar zijn Joko’s vriendjes? written by Ruth Brown,
Remi Prinsen, reader at Brighter Child, reading the story titled “Welterusten Sam” written by Marie – Louise Gay;
Sabrina Vrutaal, reader at Ingrid’s Home Care, reading the story titled “Kleine Huppel Groot versjesboek “written by Suelens Clara;
Jennifer Oduber, reader at Children’s World, reading the story titled “Een goed idee written by Peta Coplans.
Merlyn Joseph reader at Kids World, reading “Belle Beer: een hart voor mama” written by An Melis
One reader’s testimony stated that it was an absolute joy to read to the wide –eyed youngsters. Their fascination and unwavering focus warmed his heart as they embarked together on a literacy adventure about Sam, who could not sleep without his dog called Fred. Surprisingly, the children grasped the story, effortlessly, even picking up some Dutch words like “Welterusten” (goodnight). The reader went on to express that personally, he found immense satisfaction in sharing the magic of storytelling with them. He was deeply grateful to the Sint Maarten Library for granting him this wonderful opportunity to nurture young minds with the enchanting world of books in the country’s official language.
Another reader’s testimony expressed that the children listened in amazement as they heard new and familiar Dutch words while listening to the stories from “Kleine Huppel Groot Versjesboek”. The story reader mentioned that the illustrations from the book were used to quickly convey the story in the English language. Afterward, they asked the children about their experiences with regard to the storyline. It was easy for the children ages 1 to 5 years to understand and relate to Huppel’s adventures.
The collaborative effort of the day care centers and the readers, along with their testimonials to promote reading, is evidence that the Sint Maarten community believes in the importance of early childhood literacy.
Sint Maarten Library’s goal is to make reading fun, interactive and accessible to all children. We will expand our reach in the future to inspire even more young readers.