2019 NCE Vehicle Day

Children check out the inside of the Livingston Parish Library's Bookmobile during North Corbin Elementary’s 2019 Vehicle Day on Thursday, Oct. 24.

A new program that aims to increase reading among young children is kicking off this month.

The Livingston Parish Library has relaunched its “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program, a nationally recognized initiative that promotes reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers.

In the early literacy program, parents and guardians are tasked with reading 1,000 books to their child before the start of kindergarten, or roughly age 5. The program is self-paced, and the length will depend on how often a parent/guardian reads with their child.

The program is popular at libraries across the country. According to a news release, the program builds a strong foundation for reading and writing by encouraging parents and caregivers to read to children.

It is open to all families who have children below the kindergarten age.

Registration for the program opened in December, and families can sign up online or by visiting any Livingston Parish Library branch. This month, all five branches will host milestone meetings to discuss the program, along with meetings later in April and October.

Each child will have the opportunity to earn prizes for reaching certain milestones in the program, and they could possibly earn an invitation to the library’s 1,000 Books Bash in July.

LPL Director of Youth Services Kyla Roberson said she was “really excited” for the program when she discussed it during a podcast with The News late last year.

“This is a great opportunity for parents to invest in their children and spend time reading to them,” Roberson said. “One thousand books before kindergarten sounds like a lot, and it is, but it’s achievable.”

Research shows that talking, singing, writing, playing, and reading with a young child builds language skills, according to the Livingston Parish Library’s website. In the program, parents and guardians are urged to “create a book-rich environment” at home and talk to their child about what they’ve read together.

“Starting to read to your child early promotes healthy development, equips your child to succeed in school, and develops a lifelong love of reading,” the library’s website states.

The library has a plethora of book lists for parents and guardians to look through on its website, www.mylpl.info, which is where other information pertaining to the program can be found.

To sign up for the program, visit the following link: https://mylplreads.beanstack.org/reader365.

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