Reading to Young Rewarded at Greenfield Library

1,000 books is a worthwhile goal no matter the age. But when the milestone is reached before kindergarten, it’s time to take note.

The Dr. Nathan Porter Library in Greenfield did just that when Colston Ary, 22 months, son of Allison Ary, became the first to reach the lofty goal. Colston’s hunger for words was rewarded with The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar animal and book set.

The effort is part of a push by the library to get patrons with children to participate in the program 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.

The objectives are to promote reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers and to encourage parent and child bonding through reading.

The 1000 Books Foundation, the originator of the program, notes that numerous studies estimate that as many as one in five children have difficulties learning to read. Reading has been associated as an early indicator of academic success. Public formal education does not typically start until ages 5-6. Before then, parents and caregivers are the first education providers during the 0-5 early critical years. The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge is a simple (read a book, any book to your child, with the goal of reading 1,000 before kindergarten) and very manageable endeavor.

Kathy Watson, director at the Greenfield library, points out that reading with a child helps them learn pre-reading skills such as understanding the sounds letters make, developing a bigger vocabulary, and building background knowledge—all important skills that help prepare your child for learning to read and entering kindergarten.

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