Local studies show that nearly 50 percent of children who start kindergarten don’t have the basic skills necessary for success in school. Children who don’t have the basic concepts of print and vocabulary have a much more difficult time catching up to their peers, if they do at all. Making sure there are books in the home and reading to young children at least 20 minutes per day will help close the achievement gap and ensure success in school.
To help promote book sharing and make sure every child has access to books at home, SELP is partnering with four local organizations on Sunday, March 10 to build Little Free Libraries. Camping World in Anderson is volunteering an entire 8-hour work day to construct and build approximately 50 Little Free Libraries for distribution throughout Shasta County. They will be joined by volunteers with the Project SHARE afterschool program and members of Reading Masonic Lodge #254 to construct the libraries which will start appearing throughout Shasta County this spring.
The Little Free Library project is a volunteer opportunity for community members to host a library on their property. Funding for the Little Free Library project has been provided by the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Record Searchlight. The project will launch on March 20, 2013 with the next “Take 10 and Do It Again” community reading event. SELP will be responsible for making sure all the Little Free Libraries go to good homes and will provide signage courtesy of McHale Sign Co. Project SHARE joins several other organizations who have already committed to hosting a Little Free Library, including First 5 Shasta, Shasta County Office of Education Early Childhood Services, Record Searchlight, and the Shasta Family YMCA.
SELP is a collaborative of many organizations and agencies in Shasta County that organized in 2009 and whose purpose is to increase community awareness of the importance of early literacy in school and life, to coordinate community literacy resources, and to encourage all parents to read to their children at least 20 minutes each day. It has organized the “Take 10 and Do It Again” media campaign and community reading events to promote the importance of reading to children – from birth – as a way to prepare them for kindergarten.
-from press release