The local “Grow A Reader” program is aiming to put more books in the hands of children, who could benefit significantly from getting ahead on literacy at a young age.
In an effort to ensure that kids are successful when they enter school, Southwest Human Development has paired with businesses around the Valley with the “Grow A Reader” program, where patrons can “pick a flower” and go online to buy a book for a child.
Southwest Human Development, an Arizona non-profit dedicated to early childhood development, said the average child has 13 books at home, but low-income neighborhoods see just one book for every 300 children.
“Unfortunately, lots of kids arrive in kindergarten unprepared and without the early literacy skills they need to be successful,” chief development officer Jake Adams said in a statement. “They tend to be the same kids that start behind and stay behind. We’re trying to change that.”
Businesses where you can get a flower include places like CVS Pharmacy, Jason’s Deli, Jobot Coffee & Diner, Spinato’s Pizzeria and more. Click here for a full list of participating businesses.
Getting young kids involved in activities that involve reading is important to encourage their literacy skills. And when the kids can bring their favorite stuffed animals along, everyone can participate in the fun!
Don’t mess with the Book Pirates! The name sounds tough, but this organization has a great goal in mind, and works to promote literacy with kids.
This article from the LITA Blog introduces the “Book Pirates,” or as they are called in their native Germany, “Buecherpiraten.” The goal of the Pirates is to “use the combined powers of digital publishing and self publishing to empower children and young people ages 3 to 19 to tell their own story, in their own mother tongue.”
Kids (of all ages!) can make their own picture book with artwork and stories which gets published on the Book Pirates website. Then, the book is available for free download in first and second language of choice, and can be created into several different formats (tablet, regular book, etc).
It makes sense that this program has been very successful with refugee children. It provides a place to tell their story, which can then be read in their native language, as well as in their new language.
You can make your own picture book, become a translator, or just get more information by visiting their website.
Storytime is a fun and important time in all libraries. In order to get even more out of storytime programs, the Library of Virginia has created 12 new videos on how to “supercharge” your storytime.
They define supercharging storytime as incorporating two main characteristics: intentionality, where they focus on making connections between the storytime activities and early literacy, and interactivity, so both the kids and parents participate and get more out of the program.
You can find more resources, including videos and links to articles, on early childhood literacy expert Saroj Ghoting’s website here.
Learn the basics and benefits of supercharging your storytime by watching this short video: