MORE THAN BOOKS AND BUILDINGS
The first years of life define a child’s future. From birth to age five, reading with a trusted adult in a warm and loving environment can transform a child’s ability to learn to read and to succeed in school.
More than a third of children under age five in our community are at risk for low literacy, due to poverty, generational low literacy, and other risk factors. Every year, thousands of local children enter kindergarten without the strong foundation they need to learn to read. Many never catch up.
Books are essential to literacy, but it takes more than just books for a child to have the learning experiences they need. Parents and other adults must read regularly with a child to enable healthy brain development. Sadly, some parents doubt their own reading skills and worry they will hamper their child’s success in reading.
Gifts to The Library Foundation support far-reaching programs that are proven to get families reading with their young children. These programs will reach more than 40,000 children and adults this year. Librarians educate parents on research-based techniques that prepare a child's brain for learning. They also put books and materials directly into the hands of families, fostering a reading culture where it is most effective — in the home.
This year, newborns and parents will go home from clinics and hospitals 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 24,000 books will go into homes in 20 languages.