Summerside’s Rotary Regional Library helping turn the page on childhood illiteracy

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Summerside Rotary Regional Library staff member, Lainey Williams, discusses a variety of topics on the book, “The Thief Lord,” a children’s novel by Cornelia Funke, with members of the Junior Book Club.

According to the P.E.I. Literacy Alliance, 43 per cent of working-age Islanders lack the reading and writing skills needed to participate fully in today’s information-driven society.

Combating that statistic with the next generation of Islanders is one of the reasons why Summerside Rotary Regional Library created a Junior Book Club five years ago.

Library technician, Susan Harris, said every second Saturday of the month readers aged seven to 11 explore a variety of genres and topics.

“The Book Club is much more than just reading. The children will look at world maps to see where the novel took place, learn crafts, and participate in maths and science experiments,” said Harris. “They are able to expand their ideas and incorporate what they’re learning through a book into real life.”

The focus of the most recent session was “The Thief Lord,” a children’s novel by Cornelia Funke. Rotary staff member, Lainey Williams, discussed a range of topics with participants, from plot, location and theme to comparisons with the film representation.

Williams then planned a fun craft activity, incorporating math using angles and measurements, to re-create a scene from the novel about a magical merry go-round.

“We’re trying to build better citizens,” explained Harris. “They’re able to think beyond the printed word.”

Details on the Junior Book Club are available by staff at the Summerside Rotary Library.

Organizations: Summerside Rotary Regional Library, Junior Book Club, P.E.I. Literacy Alliance

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