St. Louis County early literacy campaign launches


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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis County Library system has launched a literacy campaign to get children to read 1,000 books before they start kindergarten.

The campaign encourages parents to read with their children, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2bdgClh ) reports. To participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten campaign, caregivers and parents must register at any county library branch to receive a reading log.

Participating children will earn free books and other prizes when they reach the 500- and 1,000-book marks. The library system says the books may be read by parents, baby-sitters, siblings and in daycare. Books may be read multiple times.

System early literacy coordinator Sandy Anderson says the goal of reading 1,000 books before kindergarten is another way to promote skills developed during early childhood.

"One of the early signs of reading is that memorization reading, where a child is holding a book and even though they're not actually reading the words, they just know it because their mom has read it to them so many times," Anderson said. "Or they can look at the picture and say some of the words. That's an early literacy skill."

Librarians frequently and early childhood specialists often tell parents that it is never too early to begin reading to children.

The library system has begun reaching parents before they leave the hospital through its Born to Read effort. The system plans to give 15,000 new parents free books, bath toys and information on child development this year.

The library is also promoting literacy through summer reading programs and a kindergarten readiness effort through a partnership with area school districts.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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