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Monday, October 14, 2013

For the Love of Literacy...or the Love of Cookie Monster?

Many thanks to DavyAnn Lee from the public library in New Richmond for this enthusiastic and thoughtful piece about a 1000-Books Before Kindergarten Kickoff!

For the Love of Literacy… or the Love of Cookie Monster?

Either way, we had an amazing turn out for our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Kick-off celebration on September 28th.  Over 300 patrons came in to visit with Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby, and sign up for the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program! Our 1000 Books B4K program is being sponsored by our wonderfully supportive Friends of the Library. We also had a great group of volunteers that made the whole event possible!! A million… or should we say, 1000 thanks to them for all their help!

We had 78 children sign up the day of the event, and have had 46 more children sign up in the past 2 weeks! Two of those families have already completed their first 100 books!! We have a banner with gumball machines that the kids get to stick a gumball sticker to for each 100 book milestone--a great idea we got from the Menomonie Public Library.
Wow!  Cool gumball machines!

One of the comments that we received often on that Saturday morning , was how nice it was that we had a program on a Saturday. For working families it’s hard (if not impossible) to get to the library during the week. We will work on providing some additional Saturday programming, but this made me think that all families need a little extra encouragement these days. Yes, it is the toddler who gets to put their sticker on the gumball machine, but we all know who read those 100 books!

Working parents, any parent of a toddler, families with multiple age groups of kids in sports and little ones in arm, single parents, grandparents, and care givers of all types need that accountability these days. Not that they wouldn’t do it without it, they have, they do, and they will, but at the end of the day when you’re too tired to hold your eyes open it’s easy to say, “We’ll read tomorrow night.” And the tomorrows add up to a week, a month… I’m speaking from experience! It’s nice to have that excuse, to be able to say, “Everything must stop so I can read now, I have to, we are signed up for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program!” 

When we take that moment to recognize the child for getting to their 100 books, 200 books, etc., we are really recognizing the parent, grandparent, or caregiver! We are acknowledging that, in this day and age, with kids in so many activities, with work schedules that are often overwhelming, with tv’s and computers on every wall, that YOU the parent/caregiver, YOU took the time to read to your child!!