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The Well-Read Kindergartner

Library program aims at preparing young readers

     Long before children can learn their ABCs, they can learn to love reading. Reading early and often improves language and vocabulary skills and helps shape lifelong learners. That’s the aim behind a new early literacy initiative from the Anne Arundel County Public Library.
     The program 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages parents and caregivers to read books with their children. One thousand books is an easier goal than it might seem. 
     “This program doesn’t have to be overwhelming,” says the Library’s Rebecca Hass. “If a parent or caregiver reads just one book a day to a child from birth, the child will reach more than 1,000 books by age three.”
     Joining in the tracking challenge is also easy. Register at any library branch, online using the Anne Arundel County Public Library app or with a Beanstack account. That customized online app (aacpl.beanstack.org) sends weekly book recommendations that match a child’s interests and background. 
     Record each book on your own reading log. At 25 books, visit a branch to pick up a small prize. When you reach 100 books, bring in your reading log for a tote bag. At each subsequent 100-book level you earn a sticker. When you reach 1,000 the prize is a new book. 
     “The library is dedicated to building lifelong readers,” says CEO Skip Auld. “This is one way to help parents and caregivers create a culture of reading.”
     Get started at www.aacpl.net/1kbbk.