Wichita Public Library Launches 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Reading Challenge
New in 2017, the Wichita Public Library joins libraries across the country in providing parents with a program to help grow their children's early literacy skills with the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten reading challenge.
The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge, available for children ages 6 and under who haven't yet started kindergarten, encourages parents to regularly read stories to their young children. Research shows the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood. Reading to young children is the best way to stimulate language and cognitive skills. According to early literacy research, the more words a parent uses when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the larger that child's vocabulary will be when he reaches 3 years old.
To participate, parents and caregivers pick up a packet at any of the eight Wichita Public Library locations. The packet includes a tracking sheet that can be colored each time a book is read. After 100 books are read, each child will receive a book bag and get to mark their accomplishment on a progress chart inside the Library. More prizes will be awarded along the way to reaching 1000 books.
The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge is part of the Wichita Public Library's larger early literacy initiative for creating young readers throughout the community. Every week, hundreds of young children, from newborns to preschoolers, attend Library storytimes. A variety of storytimes are offered geared toward specific age ranges to accommodate the abilities and development of the young participants, all while growing early literacy skills. Also every week, thousands of children's books are checked out from the eight public libraries, providing all families free access to children's material.
A full listing of storytimes, recommended reading, details and other early literacy resources is available at www.wichitalibrary.org/kids.