Library program focuses on youngest readers

BOURBON — The Bourbon Public Library began a new program geared to promote reading at the earliest age. “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” is for children birth through preschool and anyone can read to the child, any book (even the same book repeatedly) or attend Story Time at the library Thursdays from 2 to 2:45 p.m.
Once registered each child will receive a bookmark, folder, and reading log to track their first 100 books. This sheet is returned to the library upon completion, at which time the child will receive a small prize. A special book bag will be given to each child who reaches 100 books.
A new reading log will be given to track each set of 100 books, and the process continues until the child has “read” 1,000 books. When the child completes the program, he or she will receive a new hardback picture book inscribed with a note of congratulations from a librarian.
They will also have their picture taken and placed on the “Wall of Fame” in the children’s area to celebrate their achievement.
“We hope that ‘1,000 Books Before Kindergarten’ will not only promote literacy for beginning readers, but for entire families within our community, “ said library director Heather Barron. “Hopefully the program will ignite a passion for reading that can be passed from generation to generation.”
For a better idea of how long it would take a child to complete the program, consider the following:
• Reading one book per day for three years equals 1,095 books.
• Reading 10 books per week for two years equals 1,040 books.
• Reading three books per day for one year equals 1,095 books.
Research conducted by the National Institute for Literacy has found that children become skilled and confident readers over time, so the library hopes to afford them more opportunities at an early age to learn about:
• Books — how to hold them, how to turn the pages one at a time, and how books have words and pictures to help tell the story).
• Print — there is a difference between words and the pictures. You read words and look at pictures.
• Words — every word has a meaning. There are always new words to learn.
• Book language — sometimes book language sounds different from everyday conversation.
• World — there are objects, places, events, and situations that they have not heard about before.
• Spoken language by talking and listening.
• Letters of the alphabet.
The National Early Literacy Panel’s research concluded that oral language development, phonetic awareness, along with knowledge of the alphabet and print are all core components of success in literacy. Reading to your child, discussing the books, and allowing them to learn through listening are all part of this process.
Barron said that already there are 43 children signed up with the program and that the program was made possible “due to sponsorship by the First State Bank of Bourbon.”