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Early Literacy Gets a Library Boost

Lester Public Library is in the process of kicking off a new program dedicated to early literacy 'Babies Bloom at the Lester Public Library.' which has been made possible with the help of a donation of $ 1500 courtesy of the Green Bay Packer foundation. The donation was handed over at a special ceremony held in early December at the Lambeau Field Atrium. This is one of the contributions of the Green Bay Packers to the development of the surrounding community.

The new program aims at encouraging new parents to adopt what is regarded as one of the most critical things in the development of literacy at an early age which is to encourage them to read out loud to the latest additions in their families. Awards will be given to parents who manage to complete reading at least 100 books to their babies by the age of one year. They have to return to the library a minimum of five times during this period to collect new sheets to record progress, check out new additions to the library and collect whatever incentives they are entitled to.

At the time of enrolment, parents will receive a bib carrying the program logo and the record sheet in which to enter the books that they would read aloud. For the completion of every 25 books that they read, they will be presented with a free book for their libraries at home. By joining the program, parents are ensuring a healthy future for the kids because, incredible as it may seem, the process of learning how to read actually begins at the time of birth. In fact, it is estimated that by the age of five years, the development of the brain is around 90% complete. Sharing the habit of reading with your infant creates a platform for learning and strengthens the bond between parents and children.

The presence of books at home combined with the reading aloud of books by parents and the encouragement of early literacy skills have all proven to be successful to the development of reading skills later in your child's life. Unfortunately, the statistics show that more than 60% of the kids from low-income families in Manitowoc County have no access to children's books in their homes. Only 46% of the children in the State of Wisconsin are read to daily by their parents until they reach the age of five years. This means that well over 30% of children are so far behind by the time they start going to school that they may well never catch up. One statistic suggests that the 88% of children in first grade who read below the level of their grade was still be below that level when they reach the fourth grade and are unlikely to make up lost ground.

Babies Bloom at the Lester Public Library is one of their several programs intended to facilitate progress in the community in which they serve. Apart from the encouragement, they also provide the reading material to facilitate the implementation of these programs.

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