Research shows that babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers develop literacy skills by listening to stories, engaging with pictures, singing, rhyming and reading together. Libraries offer a wide range of programs and services to support the development of early literacy skills. Reach & Match is a perfect play-based learning tool to support large groups of children to build literacy, numeracy, fine motor skills, and communication skills among children. Reach & Match Inclusive Education Program provides fun and friendly activities that support children of all abilities so that all members of the community are included.
Reach & Match has been applied in public libraries globally, for example in Melbourne, Reach & Match has been applied in the Yarra Libraries and Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries for their Inclusive StoryTime Programs and other activities promoting inclusion and play. Inclusive StoryTime is designed for kids aged 3-5 with disabilities and sensory issues that need a quiet, sensory-friendly storytime. The librarians have received the Reach & Match Inclusive Learning training so that they would learn and have hands-on practices for all activities and games, as well as the knowledge of how to design children’s programs that fit different age groups.
Reach & Match has also become part of toy libraries around the world, enabling parents and carers to enjoy the kits through borrowing.
“We did a Reach & Match training session, it was really great session to see all the different ways to use the mats, and we really look forward to integrate into the Storytime we run specifically for children with autism and exploring all the fun games. My favourite game is the Shake, Shake, Shake game, that got children to guess which object based on the sound!”
Bridget Gray – Yarra Libraries
“Today we read 5 Little Ducks with the preschool class, I looked over to see that one of the little boys had taken out the tiles from the yellow mats and put the knitted ducks into their “nests”. It was so gorgeous that its a new purpose of the mat that I wouldn’t have thought of!”
Karen Clark – Alternative Format Library, Narbethong Special School