The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative is set to launch in Iowa City this Friday, February 5th! The program is based on an idea that other libraries across the nation are doing, with great success. The program encourages parents of newborns to 5 year-olds to read a wide range of books to their child to help them get a jumpstart on learning and school. Every word you say builds your child’s brain!
The concept is simple, the rewards are priceless. Read any book to your newborn, infant, or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books before your little one starts kindergarten. Does it sound hard? Not really if you think about it. If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think! The best part? You can repeat books and books they hear at storytimes count too!
The key is perseverance. The program was specifically designed to give babies and toddlers the best start on lifelong reading and learning skills, as well as to help parents and children get in the habit of reading on a regular basis. Doing so will improve kids’ language skills before they enter kindergarten. Can you and should you read more than 1,000 books? YES! Again, this is aimed at getting your child in a good routine of reading every day! So once you hit the goal of 1,000 books, keep on reading!
According to Reading Rockets, a national literacy program, many students enter kindergarten performing below their peers and remain behind as they move through the grades and confront more-challenging reading material. Many children entering Kindergarten are facing up to a 30 million word gap.
I believe that literacy is the cornerstone of learning and reading aloud to children – from the very beginning of a child’s life – creates the best environment for success in school. It’s a gift parents can give to their children that will pay off their whole lives!
The Iowa City Public Library’s new early literacy program 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten will encourage parents to make the time necessary for this essential building block of learning. As children move through the program, they will receive special incentives that have been bought through a generous grant from Pearson. The program will kick off this Friday, February 5. Join us in the Children’s Room for our kick-off event. For more information, log onto our website at: www.icpl.org/1000books or from our press release.