1000 Books before Kindergarten begins at Schuylkill Valley Community Library

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Did you know that 15 minutes of reading aloud daily could change the face of education in this country? Read Aloud 15 Minutes is a non-profit organization established in 2008 that is working to make reading aloud at least 15 minutes per day the new parenting standard.

According to their website (www.readaloud.org), “When every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school. Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to improve a child’s readiness to read and learn.”

Kindergarten readiness is a big component of our country’s education crisis. You can make a difference just by reading to your child.

The Schuylkill Valley Community Library has an amazing new program, 1000 Books before Kindergarten, that will help you do just that. This challenge was developed by a Nevada based non-profit (www.1000booksbeforekindergarten.org) and introduced to Berks County by the Kutztown Community Library last year.

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It is now being offered at three other Berks County Libraries, including SVCL, as a pilot program beginning this month. As a participant, you and your child will track your reading and receive incentives as you progress toward 1000 books. Depending on your child’s age and how frequently you read, this could take a few months or a few years to complete.

The number of books read per day and per week to complete the program at each age before Kindergarten is as follows:

0 years old: one book per day, four books per week

1 year old: one book per day, five books per week

2 years old: one book per day, seven books per week

3 years old: two books per day, ten books per week

4 years old: three books per day, twenty books per week

Any time your child listens to a whole book counts. It can be a library book, a book from home, an audio book, even a book you have read over and over again. Incentives

At home is where children begin to learn and you are their first teacher. You are helping your child get ready to read by talking, reading, even singing and playing with him!

According to Susan Hall and Louisa Moats in “Straight Talk about Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference during the Early Years,” reading aloud develops background knowledge about a variety of topics, builds vocabulary, and develops familiarity with story structure. It also allows the child to become familiar with rich language patterns, acquire familiarity with the reading process, and identify reading as a pleasurable activity. As stated by the U.S. Department of Education in their report “Becoming a Nation of Readers,” “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

Ready to get started? Stop by the library today to get your registration packet! Schuylkill Valley Community Library, 1310 Washington Road, Leesport. Contact us at 610-926-1555 or svcl@berks.lib.pa.us. Visit our website: www.berks.lib.pa.us/svcl.