On Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. the Delta County Library District will sponsor "Family Bike Days" throughout the county. This event was put together in order to promote the One Book 4 Colorado early literacy initiative, which provides a book to every 4-year-old in the state.
The book to be given away this year is David Shannon's "Duck on a Bike." There will be free food and safety training. Children are invited to come in costume and/or to bring decorated bikes.
Concerned with the literacy levels in our state, and seeing it as an opportunity to promote early childhood development, Lt. Governor Joe Garcia initiated the One Book 4 Colorado program, partnering with public libraries, the private sector, non-profits and foundations to bring books to children and raise awareness among parents. The initiative was implemented in 2012, and has been successful in giving out thousands of books throughout the state.
According to One Book 4 Colorado, "Four-year-olds who have access to books and the adults that read to them often will be much more likely to be ready to read when they start kindergarten. For low-income families, access to quality books and early literacy efforts are doubly important as research shows that low-income children have few to no books in their homes and are exposed to 30 million fewer words before the age of four than their higher-income peers. One Book 4 Colorado aims to close this vocabulary gap by getting a book into the home of every 4-year-old in Colorado and fostering a culture of reading."
Based on the National Report Card, the state of Colorado is actually performing above average for reading, and, based on CSAP data compiled by the Colorado Department of Education, Delta County is performing above the state average, but there is still room for growth. "Every minute that we spend encouraging our children to read is going to help all of us succeed," said library district regional manager Lea Hart.
Delta County libraries have been supportive of this initiative even before its inception. Programs run weekly in each of the libraries. These events are baby lapsit — reading to babies; tot time — reading to toddlers; and preschool story time — reading to preschoolers. They have been highly successful according to Hart. "Library story times are a way to encourage the love of books and stories. They include the elements your child needs to learn to read. Parents will understand how it makes a difference for their child within a few weeks of participating." Two patrons in Hotchkiss, Katrina Robinson and her son Daniel, have been attending these events for some time. Robinson believes these programs are essential to her child's development. "Daniel (age three) loves to read now, and he has a number of books in his room that we can read together. His favorite is about dinosaurs."
Not only has it been great for his literacy skills, she also believes "the time takes the child out of his comfort zone, and allows him to grow socially through interactions with others during the post-reading activities."
The Delta County Libraries also run summer reading programs, and give away books and prizes to older children and adults as part of a continuing annual literacy initiative. The goal is to promote reading fun as well as use of libraries for all ages.blog comments powered by Disqus