Parents engage their children in reading with 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge
When is the right time to start reading to children?
Research shows that young children exposed to books and reading build cognitive functioning. They strengthen the part of the brain devoted to story comprehension and word meaning. Even their social, emotional, and character development benefits from the ability to express feelings and control their behavior when they’re angry or sad.
Before the COVID-19 shutdown, The Library was preparing a new reading challenge –1000 Books Before Kindergarten – to launch in conjunction with the Summer Reading Club. With so many parents confined to their homes, Hannah Killian, The Library’s Youth Services Coordinator, realized they could all get a head start on reading with their children before summer began.
“Parents can create a daily reading habit with their children that will benefit them immeasurably,’’ says Killian, who joined the challenge and reads to her infant daughter. “The idea is for children to hear words and build vocabulary.’’
How to participate: Visit www.dcls.org/readingchallenges and register with Beanstack, the reading challenge software use to track completed books. Families can also get recommendations for their young one’s next read.
1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a national effort embraced by libraries and started to ensure children enter kindergarten and elementary school ready to learn. It fits with The Library’s goal to assist parents with the development of their young children.
Every time someone reads with an infant, toddler, or preschooler, it counts toward the total read. Ditto with books read during a library storytime, or at daycare or before bedtime. Even a favorite book read multiple times counts each time.
Little page-turners receive books as rewards as they reach three milestones: the first 100 books read, 500 books read, and completion of the challenge at 1,000 books. When The Library reopens its doors, families can collect their prizes – and proud readers can write their name in a special place at their local library to commemorate every 100 books they finish.
The Library has a wide array of children’s ebBooks and e-aAudiobooks available for parents to borrow as they read at home with their children.
“We want to encourage families to take the lessons they learn from us about reading and engaging with their children and apply them at home,” Killian says. ”1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a way to take those lessons home in a clear and measurable way.”