By Stephanie Skordas, Director of Communications
In partnership with Book Harvest of Durham, N.C., Ready Ready distributed nearly 1,000 books to children in pre-K classrooms in High Point. “Books on Break is a program designed to have kids choose their books,” said Rachel Stine, Book Harvest’s director of book abundance. “We know that when kids choose their own books, not only do they identify as a reader, they become more intrinsically motivated readers.”
Ready Ready’s Ages3-8 Director Coretta Walker and Literacy Coordinator Megan LeFaivre set up rooms at Children & Families First’s Staley and Macedonia Head Start Centers with attractive groupings of books on tables – like a pool party-themed book fair. Children entered five at a time to choose the five books they wanted to take home in a personalized book bag.
“The books are culturally relevant in terms of the characters, the storylines, and the language,” Walker said. “The pre-K students were able to take home five books that they chose. They had hundreds to pick from – some early reader books, hardback, paperback – whatever they wanted to take home.”
Each child’s book bag had resources for families about kindergarten readiness and tips from The Basics Guilford.
“This is going to encourage literacy between the child and parent and boost what they’ve learned in our center so they don’t lose it over the summer,” said Donnishia Casterlow, assistant director at the Staley Center.
According to Book Harvest’s website, children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, regardless of their parent’s education, occupation, and social-economic standing. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that parents start reading to their children at birth.
“We know that children learn best when they are exposed to books and hear more language spoken,” said Megan LeFaivre, Ready Ready’s literacy coordinator. “Having more books in the home, especially over the summer, will help them get ready for kindergarten.”