Salina Public Library Launches New Program to Promote Literacy for Kindergarteners

Image courtesy of Salina Public Library

By SALINA POST

The Salina Public Library is promoting early childhood literacy through a new initiative that encourages reading 1,000 books before young people go to school.

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a national challenge for pre-K children and their parents/guardians. The Salina Public Library launched its portion of the program in January. The age range of participating children ranges from birth to five years.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch this program here at the library,” said Heather Mettlen, the library’s youth programmer. “It is extremely important for a child’s literacy and brain development to start reading early in life. Our goal with this program is to create that environment at home.

Organizers believe the 1,000 Book Challenge is an easy way to get kids ready to learn and read. The concept is simple. Parents and guardians begin reading books to children when they are quite young, with the goal of completing 1,000 books by the time children enter kindergarten.

“Many studies estimate that as many as one in five children have difficulty learning to read. Reading has been linked as an early indicator of academic achievement. Formal public education does not typically begin until age 5 -6 years old. Prior to this, parents and guardians are the primary providers of education during the critical early years of 0-5 years,” the organization 1000 Books Before Kindergarten noted on its website.

According to information from the Salina Public Library, the prizes will be awarded after reading 100, 500 and 1,000 books.

“Those who complete 1,000 books will also receive a certificate of completion and a shout out on SPL social media,” the library noted.

Tracking sheets can be downloaded from the library website. They are also available at the Youth Services office on the lower level of the library, 301 W. Elm Street.

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