Libraries and Read Now Colorado

Early Childhood Education | 04/13/2017

Jeani Frickey Saito
Executive Director

The theme of this year’s National Library Week is “Libraries Transform” and that got me thinking about the very important role of libraries. My dad’s work with the Veteran’s Administration took me to five elementary schools before the age of eight. Sometimes I enjoyed the adventure, but as I got older, each move became slightly more challenging. With each new state, however, I always made it a priority to check out the local library, which became a source of comfort and quiet in my otherwise busy life. These days, taking my own kids to the library is one of my favorite activities. I appreciate the programs our library offers, and of course, an endless supply of books to keep them engaged and reading. I love seeing them develop a passion for reading because I know how important it is to their academic success for them to be strong readers.

Did you know that currently, only 39% of Colorado’s fourth graders read proficiently? This statistic is especially troubling because students who struggle to read by the end of 3rd grade are far more likely to drop out of school before graduating.  The good news is parents can play a vital role in supporting their child’s literacy skills. Stand for Children launched Read Now Colorado, a statewide effort to improve literacy rates by helping parents support their young readers.

Parents and guardians begin by pledging to read with their child for 20 minutes each day, and commit to meet with their child’s teacher to discuss their reading abilities. Read Now Colorado has information and resources to support you. Many local libraries offer awesome resources, all free of charge, for you and your child to support their education, including:

  • Librarians can help you and your child select engaging and age appropriate reading materials.
  • Summer reading programs for all age groups to help combat summer slide and keep students reading during the summer.
  •  Storytime for young readers (or anyone who wants to attend!).

In closing, libraries provide critical support in our communities and as the National Library Week theme suggests, they really can transform. If you’re not a regular at your local library, I encourage you to take your children there to check out their resources and programs.  And please check out Read Now Colorado, and sign the pledge to help your students at home. Read on, friends. 

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