Thursday, August 13, 2015

Early Literacy Program Kicks Off with Beloved Book Character

Clifford the Big Red Dog will visit all Forsyth County Public Library branches this month to help kick off 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, an early literacy program designed to help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop the pre-reading skills they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Clifford, a much-loved book and television character, will appear for stories and photos with children at six “1,000 Books with Clifford” events. The first event will be held at the Cumming Library on Tuesday, August 25 at 11:15 a.m. On Wednesday, August 26, Clifford will appear at the Sharon Forks Library at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. and at the Hampton Park Library at 6:30 pm. Clifford will visit the Post Road Library on Thursday, August 27 at 11:15 a.m. and on Saturday, August 29 at 11:15 a.m.

All the “1,000 Books with Clifford” events are free and are intended for families with children under age 5. No registration is required to attend.

As an added bonus, the library will be raffling off family four-packs to the Center for Puppetry Arts at the "1,000 Books with Clifford" programs.  All attending families are encouraged to enter the raffle.

“Clifford is coming to help the library kick off the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program because he is a familiar character to many young readers. Having a character they know and love is important to spark their interest in books and building their early literacy skills,” says Laura Bradley, Program Manager.

Research cited by the Georgia Public Library Service indicates that a significant number of students are entering kindergarten without the early literacy skills required to become independent readers. And children that have trouble reading are more likely have trouble learning new skills and concepts.

“One of the easiest ways to help a child build their vocabulary and pre-reading skills is to read aloud. At first, reading 1,000 books may seem like an unreachable goal. But if you read just one book at bedtime every night, then you can read 1,000 books in less than three years,” says Bradley. “Most board and picture books take only about five minutes to read aloud. If you commit to reading just 15 minutes a day, you can finish over 1,000 books in just one year.”

Families are encouraged to keep track of their progress with a free Reading Log. All stories and books count – even books read to the child at grandma’s house or books you’ve read more than once.

As the child reaches various milestones, they can visit the library for a commemorative photo. The library is also providing tips and information on early literacy on the #1000BooksB4K section of the Bookmarked Blog and will be hosting special 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten storytimes throughout the year.

For more information about the upcoming “1,000 Books with Clifford” events or the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, please visit www.forsythpl.org.

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