Ready to read

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 19, 2016

 Parents or caregivers can grab a reading log to keep track of the books read to a child before kindergarten at the St. Clair Shores Public Library.

Parents or caregivers can grab a reading log to keep track of the books read to a child before kindergarten at the St. Clair Shores Public Library.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

Advertisement

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Looking to launch children into early literacy and language development, the St. Clair Shores Public Library has started a program aiming to help expose children to “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.”

“We’re excited to do this to promote early literacy and reading with your child as early as birth,” said Youth Services Librarian Liz Drewek. “It all helps.”

The free reading program “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” is open to any child from birth to age 5. Parents, grandparents or other caregivers can come into the library and register the child to receive a book journal. Inside are instructions, plus a place to record each book read. 

Every time a child completes 100 books, they can come to the library and receive a small prize. Children’s progress will also be displayed in the youth services room. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the St. Clair Shores Public Library.

Friends of the Library Treasurer Ann Powell said she loves watching how excited children are when they come into the library.

“It’s an exciting venture, especially when you’re trying to work with children who aren’t even in kindergarten,” she said. “That’s when you’re molding their minds and encouraging them to become readers.”

Powell said the program is a great investment to continue the Friends’ mission of supporting the library and the community.

“We’re very fortunate that the Friends, when we bring them a program or an opportunity, they are extremely supportive and understand the importance of the library, and understand the importance of the youth services programs that they sponsor,” said Library Director Rosemary Orlando. “They can’t do enough for us.”

Drewek said the prizes are appropriate for all of the ages in the program and, once a child completes the 1,000th book, they receive a free book and a tote bag from the library.

“If you do three books a night, you do it in less than a year,” she said, explaining that any book can be read, not just library books. “You can read the same book more than once because we completely understand (that) kids have books that they love.”

Making sure children are exposed to the written word prepares them for reading in school.

“It’s exposing them to language and words and books, which is going to help them develop their literacy skills,” she said. “It’s a nationwide program; libraries throughout the country have been doing it.”

Advertisement