Read. Sing. Talk. Write. Play. These, according to the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children’s Every Child Ready to Read initiative, are the most important activities parents and caregivers can engage in with young children to lay a strong pre-reading foundation.
“It is never too early to start reading to your child,” encourages Sarah Reef, Children’s Assistant at the Bellville Branch of the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library. “Parents can start reading to their children as infants. There are a few infants that attend story time at the Bellville Branch.”
Reef continues by saying that “Every Child Ready to Read tells us… ‘Reading together or shared reading is the single most important way to help children get ready to read and become proficient readers. Reading together increases vocabulary and general knowledge. It helps children learn how print looks and how books work. Shared reading also helps children develop an interest in reading. Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves.’”
Reef recommends reading to children each day for 15 minutes. “[This] can be difficult for young children,” she explains, but “the 15 minutes can be spread throughout the day. Children love to look at the world around them, which provides opportunities for reading, like reading signs while riding in the car or reading labels while grocery shopping,” Reef adds.
Parents and caregivers interested in more information on early literacy can pick up a brochure about Every Child Ready to Read at the Bellville Branch.
Although the library will be taking a spring hiatus from story times beginning April 7 to prepare for fun with reading during their Summer Library Program, story times will resume in June.
Meanwhile, however, the Bellville Branch has more great times planned for families. Eric Litwin, author of The Nuts and the first four Pete the Cat books, will be at the Main Library in Mansfield on Tuesday, April 12th at 6 PM for a very special performance and book signing. Books will be available for purchase at the event from Main Street Books. Pete the Cat himself may stop by to say hello. For more information about the author visit, please call the Children’s Department at the Main Library at 419-521-3130.
In addition, the Bellville Branch is inviting children in grades kindergarten through 5th grade to join its Brick Builders Lego Club on Tuesday, April 19th at 6 PM. Later in the month, children of all ages are encouraged to bring their grandma or grandpa to the Bellville Branch Library on Tuesday, April 26th at 6 PM for Grandparent and Me Game Night to play games and make a craft. Contact the Bellville Branch at 419-886-3811 to register for either program.
The Bellville Branch Library is located at 97 Bell Street in Bellville. Its hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 9 AM – 8 PM and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM. Visit the library on the web at http://www.mrcpl.org/branches/bellville-branch.