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CazCares families awarded 'Favorite Books'

A grant from the Women's Fund of CNY has enabled Cazenovia Public Library to offer families enrolled in literacy programs at CazCares Food Pantry a set of 20 classic children's books for use at home.

Children's books are the gateway to language acquisition and development. The "Favorite Books" set of beloved and widely known picture books includes "Goodnight, Moon," "Where the Wild Things Are," "The Little Engine That Could" and "The Hungry Caterpillar," among other favorites. By giving families this small library of classic children's books, the project provides parents with an essential tool for building family literacy and extends the benefits of the Story Room, CazCares' early literacy program into the home by emphasizing the importance of reading to children.

The Story Room at CazCares mission is to help lay the groundwork for success in school. Preschool learning concepts are emphasized through play, learning activities, and reading to children. To improve cultural literacy in families and help close the learning gap many low-income children face when entering kindergarten, the program has developed a list of "Favorite Books," classics that most children are familiar with before entering kindergarten.

Cazenovia Public Library and CazCares work together to bring library literacy services closer to those who need them. The collaboration provides Read Ahead GED and adult education tutoring at CazCares, as well as the Story Room early literacy program. This combination of services offers free child care support for parents who receive adult literacy tutoring on-site or attend other educational programs at CazCares.

Volunteers are always needed in the Story Room. The only qualification a volunteer needs is to enjoy working with preschool-age children.

For more information, call Cindy McCall at 391-3557, or Gigi Redmond at CazCares, 655- 3174.

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