By Mark Bialczak
LPL Communications Specialist
There’s a special feeling when you get a young one to settle in with you to experience the pleasures that come from the world of books.
Educators noted that these encounters help children of all ages develop the skills needed to learn and advance once they get to school age.
The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten experience began with an organization based in Seattle. It was endorsed recognized by national organizations such as the American Library Association and adopted by individual libraries across the nation.
Children’s Librarian Laurel Sharp is an avid proponent at the LPL. She started the Liverpool Public Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Club in February 2016. It encourages families to read every day with children from newborn to school age — and beyond.
The next official session at the LPL meets from 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Carman Community Room. There will be five stations set up, each designated to address one of the specific skills associated with early literacy and learning by the ALA: read, write, sing, play and talk.
Parents and caregivers also will be able to pick up materials associated with the club. Certificates for milestones will be awarded. New members are welcome to join.
“Being mindful, taking the time to do it every day is not only fun but helps the kids a lot,” Sharp said of her passion for the importance of the mission. “It’s research-based by kindergarten teachers who’ve noticed how different kids are when they are exposed to books every day.
“I liked doing it as a parent,” she said. “And I like supporting it here.”
Sharp said the older readers should not imagine how high a pile of books might lie ahead.
“There’s nothing magic about the number 1,000,” she said. “It’s a way to hang out with your kids. It’s playful.”
Sharp said she hears from parents who try to read with energetic little ones who don’t seem to be paying much attention.
“They wonder, ‘Am I doing it right? My kid wanders away.’ Yes, that’s great. Really, a couple minutes a day benefits down the road,” she said. “Singing helps. If you have really active kids, that helps like reading. If you don’t have a book [available] you can sing to them.”