The first five years of life define a child’s future. Babies who bond with a trusted, caring adult by sharing books will have an easier time learning to read. They’ll do better in school, secure meaningful jobs, and live longer, healthier lives.
An estimated half of the children under age five in our community face tough literacy risks, including poverty and generational low literacy. Every year, thousands of local children enter kindergarten without a strong foundation for learning to read. These children are less likely to get a strong start in school and in life.
Gifts to The Library Foundation support innovative programs that are proven to turn that trend around. Librarians guide the highest risk parents to incorporate shared reading into their family’s daily routine, using research-based techniques that hardwire a child’s brain for learning. Librarians also deliver books and materials to families to support them in reading together.
This year, newborns and parents will go home from the hospital with inspiring literacy education, high quality children’s books and incentives to visit the library. Bilingual librarians will reach parents and teach them about early brain development at Head Starts and through the WIC (Women, Infants & Children) program. More than 30,000 books will go into at-risk homes every week in 11 languages.