The reading project Mommy Reads to Me originates from an American experience that the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saint John, New Brunswick who was inspired by. Our colleagues in the Maritimes obtained the permission of the American creators of the program, to create a similar program in Canada and to undertake the promotion of this program with the other Societies in the Canadian regions. Thanks to the expertise of the Society in Saint John, we began to deliver this program to two women’s institutions in 2005: Tanguay and Joliette. As of 2016, it continues at the provincial institution Leclerc-Laval as well as the Joliette Institution.
This project gives the participants the opportunity to read a book to their child or any other child with whom they have a significant relationship. She could be a mother, grandmother, aunt, godmother, friend of the family, etc.
The women are invited to choose a book. Their voices reading the book are recorded by our team of volunteers who go inside the institutions to see to the realization of this project. The participating child receives the book and the MP3 player by mail within the weeks following the recording. This allows him or her to hear the voice of the woman reading the book that he or she received as a gift.
This program is for children from one to sixteen years of age. For older children, the recording can be an invitation to read the book that the participant chose for him or her.
In this way, young children can happily follow along with the story by looking at the pictures, while allowing themselves to be soothed by the sound of the voice of the reader. Older children have the pleasure of following along with the story as it is read. Children of all ages find comfort in this project.
According to our observations, many of the participating children have developed an important interest in reading. While some women wanted to improve their reading abilities by returning to school, others have established regular contact with their children or have tightened their family network thanks to this experience. This simple little project leaves no one indifferent. The participants, as much the children as the parents, discover all kinds of benefits.
This program has been made possible thanks to the financial contribution of the Congrégation des Sœurs de Sainte-Anne. (www.ssacong.org)
The project operates thanks to the commitment of our team of volunteers who go into the institutions to see to the recordings, and the sending of the books and recordings.