8,000 babies to have Pustaka reading kits

Rashidah (third left) briefs Fatimah (seated right) on the ‘Reading Seed’ programme at Pustaka.

KUCHING: The Sarawak State Library (Pustaka) is targeting 8,000 newborn babies to receive reading kits under the ‘Reading Seeds’ programme this year.

Its chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Rashidah Bolhassan said the kits would be distributed to the mothers of the babies throughout the state through its collaboration with the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development and State Health Department.

“The collaboration with state’s Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry would be in terms of distribution of the reading kits via the Sarawak Endowment Fund (EFS) incentive.

“We are also collaborating with the State Health Department, whereby the distribution of the kits will be handed out by nurses at public hospitals and health clinics in Sarawak,” she said at the ‘Reading Seeds’ programme press conference held at Pustaka, Petra Jaya here today.

Rashidah also said that according to experts, reading and talking to a baby in the womb would help it grow, not only physically but cognitively.

“The ‘Reading Seeds’ is a continuation of the ‘Born to Read’ programme, which was implemented by Pustaka since 2003. This programme introduces mothers to the literacy on the early stages of a child’s life.

“The role of the mothers, by engaging with their children, plays a major influence in the children’s critical development, especially for their lifelong learning literacy,” she added.

She further said that the programme had adopted digitalisation where parents can access information via its digital app — ‘Me Book’, which can be downloaded from the application store.