It is that time of year when cute little kids with back packs as big as they are start off for their first day of kindergarten. New clothes, shiny faces, and superhero pencil boxes are all a part of exciting scene as children start on the long journey of their formal education. Unfortunately not all kids start kindergarten on equal footing. Studies show that kids in families where they talk and read together can be two years further ahead in their language development than those who do not. Sadly, all too often these educational discrepancies continue through grade school, secondary school and even to college.
The Provo Library has fun program to encourage parents and preschool age children to read together. It is called 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. When participants sign up with their library card at the children’s reference desk, they receive a book bag and a colorful reading chart with 1000 stars on it. Each time parents and children read a book together they can mark off a star. When they have marked off all the stars, they can bring the chart back to the library and receive a nice certificate and a small toy for the child. Of course, the real reward is a child who is enters kindergarten ready to learn. So as you see the little four-foot-tall scholars trekking off to school for the first time, and think, that will be my child in 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5 years, come to the Provo Library and commit to read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!