Give the gift of reading
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article explores literacy at home, one of the three focuses of the new literacy initiative at the library. See last week’s and next week’s issues for a more in-depth look at literacy in the library and literacy in the community.
The second area of focus of Hastings Memorial Library’s Early Childhood Literacy Initiative is developing literacy at home. This will take place primarily through the implementation of a program called “Leading to Reading.”
This program, developed by the Seward Memorial Library in conjunction with Concordia University, is presented in 61 monthly postcards covering each month from birth to age 5. Each postcard contains age appropriate literacy tips as well as a book recommendation geared towards that age level. The purpose of “Leading to Reading” is to reinforce the importance of reading aloud to all children from the time they are born.
As part of the Youth Grant for Excellence the library received through the Nebraska Library Commission, the library was able to purchase postcard kits to offer to Perkins County’s newest residents free of charge. Any Perkins County resident with a child between the ages of 0-5 can register and have a postcard mailed to them each month until their child turns 5-years-old. All of the books listed on the individual postcards will be available for participants to checkout from the library.
In addition, the library is also offering this service to patrons with loved ones outside of Perkins County. For a fee to cover mailing costs, community members and those living outside of Perkins County can register a child and the library will mail the monthly postcards to these children as well. Complete kits will also be available for purchase at the library for a lower fee.
“There are so many children’s books out there it can be hard to know which books to choose,” said Robin Quinn, Hastings Memorial Library Director. “These kits deliver ideas right to your door!” Quinn added that the library staff is always happy to help patrons pick out books as well.
Information about the program will be available at the library and will also be sent home with new babies born at Perkins County Health Services.
Also, an Early Literacy section will be coming soon to the library’s website at http://libraries.ne.gov/grant. Quinn encourages anyone with questions about the Leading to Reading program to stop by the library at 505 Central Ave. in Grant or call the library at 308-352-4894.