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Wayne County Public Library ‘Growing Readers’

This spring, Wayne Co. Public Library unveils a new initiative: “Growing Readers,” which offers three programs specifically crafted to encourage early literacy in young children.

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they learn to read and write, according to a WCPL news release. Development of language and literacy skills begins at birth.

The first part of “Growing Readers” is “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten”. This program, for children birth to kindergarten age, asks caregivers and children to read 1,000 books together. For each 100 books read, children receive a special sticker. At 500, they will get a book of their choice to keep and when they reach 1,000 books, they get another book, a backpack and special recognition. Reading to a child is the single most important thing adults can do to prepare children to read. Children that are introduced to reading early tend to begin to read earlier and to excel in school and throughout life. 1,000 books may sound like a lot, but one bedtime book a day will help a child reach that goal very quickly. Families can jump into this program any time before Kindergarten. “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” packets can be picked up at all WCPL locations.

The second part of “Growing Readers” is the monthly “Read, Play, Grow!” kits. Each of these kits, for children ages 3 to 5, contains five activities and all the supplies needed for an adult to help a child with an early literacy skill. The five activities focus on the basics of early literacy; talking, singing, reading, writing and playing, all of which are fun ways for children to learn important pre-reading skills. “Read, Play, Grow!” kits are available at every WCPL location. There’s a new one each month! These kits and the “1000 Books Before Kindergarten packets are made possible through support from the Wooster Friends of the Library and other generous donors.

The final component, “Books for Baby” gives children ages birth to 12 months a board book, simple early literacy tips and information about resources and programs specifically for infants. These “Books for Baby” kits are distributed by partner agencies that provide services to babies and their families. This program is generously supported by the Emblem Club and Rotary Club of Wooster.

More information about any of these programs is available from any WCPL branch library or on the website

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