Not only is September Library Card Sign-up month (a way for anyone to obtain the most important school supply of all- a free library card), but it is also the launch of Washoe County’s Read 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.
“The entire [Washoe County] library system is giving early exposure to vocabulary and literacy,” says Sparks Library Assistant Emily Goehring. The program, which is aimed to promote reading to children from birth until they are five years old, prompts parents to read one book per day to kids to set them up for a lifetime of success. By reading just one book per night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in a period of three years.
The Sparks Library discovered this nationwide initiative through a Nevada library conference and what programs worked within the different regions. “We found that there is a 30 million word gap for these kids and their exposure to books before they start school. There are certain groups of kids who are not getting exposed to early literacy,” says Goehring.
Washoe County Library System Programs and Community Collaborations Coordinator Beate Weinart says that one of the most important factors of lifelong learning is formalizing the process for early literacy. She adds that 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is the first initiative for early literacy and completing this challenge is a good mile marker for families in giving their children essential literacy skills. Plus, regularly reading to children helps promote a lifelong fondness of books and reading.
“Just reading one book a night can make a huge difference,” says Weinart. This program is also a way to support the statewide “Read By Three” initiative that Governor Brian Sandoval implemented in June 2015. She also reinforced how getting a library card is very economical for families (it’s free!) and gives access to not only books but CD’s, movies, and other forms of online entertainment.
She added that children who are read to before going into school arrive with a much bigger vocabulary, kick starting their way to success. “I can’t emphasize enough how important the library is to the community for early literacy,” Weinart adds. “We need to do what we can to get those kids school-ready.”
“It doesn’t have to be the traditional bedtime story; I’ll be showing a display of what 1,000 books looks like in all different forms,” Goehring said. “Everyone’s lives are so busy, we wanted to show different ways that kids can consume books,” she added.
Here’s how to participate as taken from https://www.washoecountylibrary.us/resources/1000-books.php-
Any child ages 0-5 years can participate. Just follow these steps:
• Get Started: Pick up a reading log at your local branch or download the app on your smartphone.
• Track Your Reading: Fill in a circle or record the titles.
• Every Book Counts: New book, same book, or story time book, it all counts.
• 100-Book Milestones: You completed the log! Great! Grab another and keep going!
• 1,000 Books: You did it! Come to the library and receive a certificate of completion.
• Keep on Reading: Don’t stop at 1,000! Keep on reading together. There’s more learning ahead!
If you read just one book a night, you’ll meet your goal in less than three years. For more information about the program, visit http://1000booksbeforekindergarten.org/.
Other September Sparks Library Events:
The Jungle Book in 3D available in English in Spanish, and for kids with sensory issues as well as a monthly Paws 2 Read event where children have the opportunity to read to non-judgmental four-legged friends. “They can practice reading to trained therapy dogs of all different breeds. It brightens the staff’s mood when they come in,” Goehring says.
The library also offers a Coding for Kids club which teaches kids internet coding, a useful skill for when they enter the workforce. “It’s like learning another language,” Goehring adds. Incline Village artist Jason Forcier’s mixed-media artwork is also on display for the month of September in the Sparks Library, Spanish Springs Library, and Sierra View Library.