“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” — Dr. Seuss
Theodor Geisel, of course, is far from alone in touting the benefits of books. Experts agree that reading to children is beneficial to their development and future academic success. It helps build vocabulary and can be the foundation for a lifelong love of reading and books — a good start to filling all the crannies and all the nooks.
Schlow Centre Region Library wants to help children and their families achieve the goal of reading 1,000 books before entering kindergarten.
Sounds daunting, doesn’t it?
But it’s really not. Here’s how it works: Just sign up your preschooler — newborn, toddler or beyond — for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at Schlow. Then read, read, read.
When you sign up, your child will receive a log sheet with a little picture representing each of the first 100 books. Once those little pictures are colored, return the log sheet to the library for the next one.
Busy parents don’t have to write out titles and authors’ names — just let the kids color away.
“We want to make this as easy as we can,” Schlow children’s services technician Katie Brennan said.
Public libraries across the country have similar programs, Brennan said, adding that it gives children a great head-start to reading and encourages families by showing them how easy it is to reach the 1,000-books goal.
A child from birth to 2 years old would only have to be read one book a day to achieve the goal; two books a day for a 3-year-old; and three books a day for a 4-year-old.
What if a child wants to read the same book over and over ... and over and over and over. No worries. Those family favorites count, too.
Once each log sheet is returned, children will receive a small prize, such as a sticker or a bookmark. They also get to choose a forest creature to write their names on to display in the Forest of Fantastic Readers.
Once all 10 sheets are full and the goal is achieved, children get to choose their last forest friend and receive a special prize. Each child also will be honored with a personalized name plate in a children’s book at the library. After all, 1,000 books is quite an accomplishment.