A powerful message in literacy
By Paige Grzenia
ALGOMA – The Algoma Public Library kicked off their “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” program on Sept. 12.
“The goal is to help develop early literacy skills with kids” said Algoma Children’s Librarian Peggy DeGroot.
DeGroot said that research shows when a child is read to and is given the opportunity to talk about a book this helps increase their vocabulary, comprehension and ability to verbalize.
Once a child is signed up for this program, the child has a goal to read 1000 books before the child reaches kindergarten.
The child’s caregiver can read the book to their child, or the child can read the book on their own.
The books do not need to different; a favorite book can be read as many times as a child wants.
They are given a sheet to track their reading progress and the library presents awards for reaching different milestones.
“For every 100 books they read, they get some kind of small incentive” says DeGroot.
When a child signs up for the program, they get a free book.
Children in the program can choose another free book as their award for hitting a milestone; however, the library also offers other incentives including tote bags, craft kits, stickers and rubber ducks.
The library also partners with Algoma High School’s printing program called “The Abilities Project” where “students work to create designs and then do screen printing on things for different companies.”
“So, we went to The Abilities Program, and they took our design and added to it and they’re printing our tote bags,” explained DeGroot.
When asked what her favorite part of this program is, DeGroot shared, “I get to read to kids.”
“Kids love being read to, and it doesn’t matter what age they are because I taught sixth grade and that was the favorite part,” DeGroot added.
“It’s just like a really super way for me to introduce my love of reading and my love of books and the power of stories to kids. “The most important thing is that caregivers read with kids…Reading to kids early, early on makes a big difference. The second is, when caregivers allow their children to see them reading books on their own as well. That is such a powerful message that parents are sending.”
If you’re still interested in registering your child for this program, stop by the Algoma Public Library or call (920) 487-2295.