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1000 Books Before Kindergarten
The Altoona Public Library has a new early literacy program for families with children who have not yet entered kindergarten (ages 1-5). The goal of the program is for parents to read 1,000 books to their child before they enter school. It's never too early to start reading to your child!
To get started, simply visit the library and let a staff member know that you are interested. We will send you home with a blue sheet of paper to be used to record the books that read to your child. You can record the titles of the books, or just cross off the numbers as you read. Books read by grandparents, siblings, babysitters, teachers, etc. count as well, and if your child has a well-loved book that they want to read over and over again, each reading counts as a book. After you and your child have read 100 books, bring your record sheet back to the library where we'll stamp it, give you your sheet for your next 100 books, and a train mural for your child to take home. Your child will get a sticker to put on the train for each 100 books, and they'll also get to put a sticker on our giant train mural at the library! Your child will recieve a free book after they've reached 500 books and 1,000 books. When your child finishes the program, they will receive a certificate and their name will proudly be displayed on the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten wall of fame in our lobby.
1,000 books may sound like a lot, but you'll be amazed by how fast they add up. Now matter how far you get, your child will learn and grow as they read with you.
The Children's Council of Altoona has generously provided a collection of books, activity sheets, puzzles, games and toys that focus on a specific topic. These collections have been put in themed bags and are available for a 3 week check out. One bag may be checked out per library card. These bags help facilitate the five early literacy practices of reading, talking, singing, writing and playing. Click here for a list of bags.
Early Literacy Play Area
Come on in to the library and let your child learn through play. Our children's area features a train table, puppet show theater, doll house, LEGO table and interactive literacy panels. This play area facilitates the five early literacy practices of reading, talking, singing, writing and playing. Engaging in these types of daily interactions with your child will help develop the skills that are needed to enter school ready to learn.
Information and Links for Parents
Growing Wisconsin Readers - Growing Wisconsin Readers is a statewide initiative rooted in public libraries that aims to support Wisconsin caregivers of young children with information about early literacy so they can prepare children for learning at school and beyond. The website has helpful information about how and what to read to your child at each stage in their early literacy development. This information is available in English, Spanish and Hmong. We also have brochures at the library if you prefer printed information.
Reach Out & Read - This page from the Reach Out & Read outlines the importance of reading aloud to your child, and cites the scientific research that proves it. The website also has a few other handy resources for parents on their Literacy Materials resource page. Reach Out & Read is an organization that partners with medical facilities to distribute books to families and encourage reading to children.
2017 Monthly Early Literacy Calendar - This calendar was put together by the Wisconsin Library Association Youth Services Section. It lists daily activities for you and your child to learn skills through singing, reading playing, and having fun.
Just in Time Parenting Newsletters - Free parenting e-newsletters matched to your child's age (prenatal - 5 years).
Is Your Child Developing on Time? - Every year, more than one million children with unidentified disabilities enter school with issues that put them behind their peers. Easter Seals makes it easy to find out if your child is at risk. Simply by answering age-specific questions via the Ages & Stages Questionnaires - a free screening tool available through generous support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust - you can see if your child's developmental progress is on schedule. It takes less than 20 minutes to make sure your child is reaching his or her developmental milestones.