She’s in the top Tia for reading

Tia Patel, four, who has gained her tenth reading certificate eventhough she hasn't started school yet
Tia Patel, four, who has gained her tenth reading certificate eventhough she hasn't started school yet
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Young bookworm Tia Patel is romping ahead of her peers when it comes to learning her ABCs.

The four year-old pre-schooler has just collected her 10th reading certificate - and she hasn’t even started school yet.

Tia, from Fulwood in Preston, was presented with her special golden certificate when she went into Sharoe Green Library in Fulwood with her dad to change her books.

Her dad Dimal started taking her to the monthly Baby Rhyme Time sessions at the library when she was just 10 months old.

He said: “From then on, there was no stopping her and she joined the library, collected her free library Bookstart bag and became a frequent visitor.”

She signed up for the Bookstart Book Crawl and Dimal said: “She loves the library. Every evening she chooses two stories from her book bag that we read together at bedtime.”

Her favourites are the Gruffalo, which her dad said she knows backwards, and the Winnie The Witch series.

Dimal, an air steward, said both he and his wife, who works for Royal Mail, are keen readers so the youngster has always been surrounded by books.

He added:”When she was very young there was a lot of stuff around about children not being able to read at certain stages so I thought it would be best to introduce Tia to books and the library to at least give her a basic grounding. She just loved it.”

“Time to read is vital. The more kids read the better readers they become and giving them books that they’ll devour will make them ask for more.”

Tia, who goes to the pre-school at Highfield Priory School, learned her alphabet over a year ago and has been able to read aloud for the past six months.

Dimal said: “She is very pleased with herself and really likes her books. She goes to the library once a week and to the school library every week.”

When she’s not busy reading Tia also likes to learn ballet.

She is now signing up for the library reading trail, which is aimed at older children.

Dimal, said his local library has been an inspiration for Tia and added that he is worried about the loss of similar facilities in some areas.

He added: “Encouraging children to read, especially for pleasure, needs money, resources and time.

“Closing libraries cuts off access to free books.”