Literacy Kits

VIRL is pleased to provide parents and caregivers of babies, toddlers and preschoolers with this library resource. Each kit contains approx. 10-15 items including books, puppets, CDs, DVDs, as well as an early literacy resource handbook full of fun activities. There are a variety of themes including: Nursery Rhymes, Shapes & Colours, Cats and Dogs, Tools & Machines, Pirates, Dinosaurs, Fairies, Monsters and many more.


Literacy Kits began as a pilot project in the South Nanaimo area. Current research publicized by Clyde Hertzman and the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) identified children in South Nanaimo as being the most at risk for language and cognitive development issues on Vancouver Island. As a result, the Vancouver Island Regional Library decided to provide a specialized literacy outreach service for children in this community.

Why are literacy kits only available at certain locations?

The provision of literacy kits has been made possible by various grants: the Province of BC, Times Colonist Raise a Reader Grant, Altrusa, Success by 6, and other private funding agencies.  These agencies have provided kits to serve children in their community and as a result customers have access to Literacy Kits in their own community.  The Vancouver Island Regional Library Friends groups have generously dontated funds to add literacy kits to more library locations.  VIRL continues to add Literacy Kits to new locations.

Literacy Kit Locations:

Here's for a complete listing of literacy kits available. Select a branch from the 'Limit by' drop down box located on the right side of the page.

Multicultural Literacy Kits Available:

Vancouver Island Regional Library has worked in collaboration with the Greater Nanaimo Early Years Partnership to create over a dozen literacy kits featuring many different cultures including Metis, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Serbian and Russian. The kits can be borrowed from any VIRL branch for up to 3 weeks at a time.  Each kit contains a series of age-appropriate books (many of them in the native language of the culture), and a combination of activities, CDs, DVDs or toys, all contained in a handy backpack.

If you have any questions about the literacy kits, please contact your local library branch.

If you would like to help support the literacy kit program at the Vancouver Island Regional Library, please visit the Support your Library Page.

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