Book Trust has been awarded funding from the Arts Council Northern Ireland to launch The Rhyme Challenge for early years settings.
Early years settings throughout Northern Ireland will be invited to apply to Book Trust for a pack, and artistic performances and celebration events for families will take place in early years settings in Ardoyne, Ligoniel and Cliftonville. To complete the project, a celebration event is planned in May at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, where certificates will be presented and Polly Poppet will entertain families with puppets, stories, rhymes and songs.
Caroline Milligan, Glenbrook Surestart Coordinator, said that they were delighted to be involved with Book Trust and the Arts Council in The Rhyme Challenge:
'Rhymes are an integral part of the work that we do from 1-1 sessions with parents through to our Song, Rhyme and Storytimes in Ardoyne Library. We believe rhymes are key in supporting children's language development, social interactions and future learning and best of all it is a fun activity that the whole family can participate in and enjoy.'
Damian Smyth, Head of Literature & Drama at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:
'We are delighted to be able to partner Book Trust NI in this wonderful initiative. Rhyme is one of the building blocks of creativity and the record shows the Rhyme Challenge is a great way for children to share the joy of words among themselves - and with their parents too!'
(L-R) Book Trust NI's Liz Canning with Caroline Milligan and Damian Smyth
What is The Rhyme Challenge?
The aim of the Rhyme Challenge is to encourage a love of rhymes and early poetry in an informal way. Children learn rhymes with their friends at nursery or playgroup and then share them with all the family at home. Parents may remember some of the rhymes from their own childhood or they may have forgotten them so the rhyme sheets brought home by the children will be a welcome reminder.
If your early years setting in Northern Ireland taking is interested in taking part, please email Kathryn Anderson, or call 028 9070 8782, for a resource pack and CD.