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And 14 families were invited to the Mother Goose group that continued on the Zoom platform and those meetings drew between five and two families for each of the sessions, with as many as 11 children attending one of the sessions, said Howard.

Melissa Brown, a mother of two in Delta, saw a “huge benefit” in the verbal skills of her son, now six, after she brought him to Mother Goose when he was younger.

“He never stops talking,” she said. “He is tall for his age and he’d be chattering away and then he would do something typical for his (young) age,” surprising other adults who assumed he was older.

Brown had registered her one-year-old daughter for the session earlier this year that began in-person and switched online when COVID hit. She was sent the YouTube links from the facilitator and she and her daughter watched and sang along.

Her daughter recognized the facilitator from the in-person sessions and delighted at seeing the other babies on the screen during the Zoom meetings.

“She goes over to the screen and claps her hands,” said Brown.

She’s looking forward to joining the Mother Goose sessions in the fall and in the meantime there have been small gatherings at the library, where they sing songs and listen to readings.

“Mother Goose and all of the early literacy programs are invaluable,” Brown said. “There is a huge benefit for the whole family.”

Melissa Brown with her children Dorothy (1) and David (6) pictured in front of their home in North Delta on Sept. 9, 2020. Melissa and her two children take part in literacy programs offered by Delta Literacy Outreach. The Mother Goose program teaches parents to use music, rhythm, radium to encourage early lit skills. For Raise-A-Reader story by Susan Lazaruk. Credit: Mike Bell/PNG [PNG Merlin Archive]
Melissa Brown with her daughter Dorothy (right) and son David at home in Delta. Brown says has seen both of her children benefit immensely from the Mother Goose literacy program, even now as it’s gone online. Photo by Mike Bell /PNG

She said she looked forward to the daily drop-ins as a new mom because “new parents are very isolated, even if they’ve got lots of support. There are lots of nice people there and you can share the slightly terrifying journey that you’re on together, especially in the first year.”

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