Greenvale gem reaches 1000 books

Isabel Ottone with her mum, Marie. 
1000 reasons to smile: Isabel Ottone with her mum, Marie. 

A two year old girl from Greenvale who takes books everywhere has become the first child to reach the 1000 books milestone in Hume Libraries’ 1000 Books Before School challenge.

Isabel Ottone registered for the preschool reading initiative on 1 July 2015 and completed 1000 books on 1 September 2015.

Her mother, Marie Ottone, said Isabel spent the entire two months focused squarely on books.

“She brought me a book to read first thing every morning, and now remembers what the books are called and walks around the house talking about them throughout the day,” Ms Ottone said.

“My husband and I read to her every night before bed and very often I will read to her in the morning or before her midday nap.

“We go to the library nearly every week and Isabel just loves it.”

The 1000 Books Before School challenge encourages children to read, or have read to them, 1000 books before they start primary school, so that youngsters build the early literacy skills which help them to succeed at school.

Ms Ottone said the program had helped Isabel to develop her literacy skills.

“It is undoubtedly the best form of learning and interaction on so many levels,” she said.

“I have seen Isabel excel in her speech, vocabulary, communication, and understanding.

“We are so proud of Isabel’s achievements, especially after being born more than two months premature. She has excelled above and beyond our expectations.”

Isabel has a wide variety of favourite books, including:

• Get into Bed! by Virginia Miller;
• 1-2-3 Peas by Keith Baker;
• Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff;
• Because I Love You by David Bedford and Rebecca Harry; and
• The Waterhole by Graeme Base.

More than 700 children have registered for the 1000 Books Before School challenge, and 78 participants have already surpassed the 100 book milestone.

A total of eight children have achieved the 250 book milestone.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, called on parents of young children to sign-up at a Hume Libraries branch.

“When a family registers, the participating child receives their first reading record to help keep track of the number of books that they have read,” Cr Atmaca said.

“All participants receive special stickers each time they complete 100 books, as well as rewards to mark the 100, 250, 500, 750, and 1000 book milestones.

“1000 Books Before School is an exciting challenge because it helps children to develop a pattern of reading which will assist them throughout their lives.

“Books help children to learn about the world, and become familiar with its amazing characters and animals.

“A simple picture book can open up a fascinating journey that sparks a passion which lasts forever.”

1000 Books Before School is the first program of its kind in Victoria, and expands on other early learning activities that Council offers, including Bilingual Storytime, Babytime, and iTots.

To enrol in the 1000 Books Before School program, visit a Hume Libraries branch. Further information is here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 11 September 2015

Updated : 9:46 AM, 11 September 2015

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