Help from the library for a newcomer family

Fleeing violence, Hibo* came to Canada from Ethiopia with her three young children. The family was placed at Birkdale Residence, a family shelter that receives the library’s Storytime Outreach program. Hibo had her youngest, Ishaar*, attend Storytimes to help him learn English and deal with delayed speech and language. “The friendly librarian who ran the program engaged the children in singing, stories, arts and crafts,” recalls Revi Pereira, the activity organizer at Birkdale Residence. “The staff could see Ishaar’s participation and confidence improve every week. Although he still struggles with writing, Ishaar is thriving and converses fluently in English with his friends.”

Thanks to donors, every child who attends Storytime Outreach receives Let’s Get Ready for Reading –  a fun guide full of easy, everyday family activities to help kids become readers.

You can help more children like Ishaar by supporting the library’s outreach programs.

*Not their real names.

About Storytime Outreach

Storytime Outreach reaches families and preschoolers, especially those living in high-needs communities, who might not otherwise experience the library. The program helps build early literacy skills which are a foundation for future achievement, especially at this early age. This program also empowers parents and caregivers to be their child’s first and best teacher.

From January – August 2015, Toronto Public Library’s Storytime Outreach project brought early literacy information to 1,560 children and 1,246 parents and caregivers at 37 locations in high needs communities across the City of Toronto.