LIBRARY PROGRAM PROMOTES EARLY LITERACY
For about five years now, the Marshall County Public Library has been participating in a program designed to encourage parents/caregivers to read as much as possible to their children before they enter Kindergarten. Today, the goal remains the same: get children reading early.
On June 23, 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement that promotes reading aloud to children daily, beginning in infancy. Since then, hundreds of local libraries across the United States and beyond have started 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten programs.
“Early education experts have found that children who are exposed to more language early on often do better in school,” Children’s Librarian Beth Kerrick said. “One of the easiest ways to introduce rich vocabulary to your children is through reading lots and lots of books together.”
Although the idea of reading 1,000 books before Kindergarten may seem daunting at first, Kerrick said the easiest way to succeed is to simply set a daily goal and stick to it.
“If you read three books a night, you’ll read 1,092 books in just one year,” she said.
In fact, Kerrick said reading has been part of her family’s nighttime routine for years.
“My girls get their baths, brush their teeth and hair, and pick out a book,” she said. “We try to stick to this as closely as possible so they have a routine and know what to expect. It also ensures that they get to read every day. Some days we read during the day so we’re doing more than just three books a day, which helps on those nights when we run out of time.”
To get started with this program at the library, parents have two options. They can either fill out a reading log online by downloading the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten app from the app store, or they can stop by any branch of the library and pick up a paper reading log and register.
“Simply keep up with the titles of the books you read to your child,” Kerrick said. “While it’s not even necessary to read 1,000 different books, it certainly helps your child’s growth. In fact, caregivers could read the same book 1,000 times and it would still technically count.”
Once the goal has been reached, participants can come to the library and claim their prizes.
50 books: Sticker
100 books: Picture taken and displayed on digital signage
250 books: Bookmark
500 books: Free book
750 books: Library tote bag
1,000 books: T-shirt, certificate
For more information or to download a reading log, visit Marshall County Public Library’s website at marshallcolibrary.org or call the library at 270-527-9969 and ask for a children’s librarian. More information can also be found at https://1000booksbeforekindergarten.org/