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‘Ready to Read’ Program Underway at County Library
April 18, 2007 - New Castle-Henry County Public Library is launching a local awareness and action campaign to help families prepare their young children for reading and learning. The “Ready to Read” program is part of a national initiative among libraries called “Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library.” The library is working with other local agencies including the Henry County Literacy Coalition, Healthy Families, Head Start, and the Henry County Child Fair to help connect area families with valuable resources.
The first phase of “Ready to Read” is to raise awareness about the importance of preparing children for reading and learning. Many Henry County children begin kindergarten without basic skills needed in their education. While schools play an important role in the learning process, research shows that the majority of a child’s brain development is complete before they reach age five. Parents are a child’s first teacher, and their interactions with their children in the early years can help their child’s future learning.
As part of the awareness phase of the project, New Castle-Henry County Public Library is hosting a workshop that will help area agencies train the families and caregivers in how to engage in early literacy activities. Following this workshop, the library and partnering agencies will begin offering free training sessions for parents and caregivers. Those interested in attending a training session can call the Children’s Library at 765-529-0362, ext. 366, to be placed on a contact list.
Additionally, the library will focus its programming for infants, toddlers and preschoolers on preparing children for literacy. Programs will feature fun and interactive activities, age-appropriate stories, and take-home knowledge for parents and caregivers. As always, library programs will be free.
Early literacy is about more than sharing books… it’s about sharing experiences. With this in mind, the library will be enhancing its collection of learning kits. A learning kit is a bag of activities that include a book, finger play and craft ideas, and a puppet or toy for interaction. The kits are available for parents and caregivers to borrow. The library is planning to add a set of alphabet learning kits, with each kit featuring a different letter of the alphabet. Businesses and charitable organizations interested in sponsoring a learning kit may call Winnie Price, Assistant Director, at 765-529-0362, ext. 302.
As the “Ready to Read” initiative gains momentum, the library hopes to add a “Book Buck” component. Families would earn free books by attending library programs, reading to their children, or checking out learning kits.
Those interested in helping with the “Ready to Read” project are invited to call the library at 765-529-0362, ext. 366.
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