Take a moment to think back to your childhood. What is your earliest memory of reading or being read to by someone? That moment in time was when you started to develop language skills that would serve as the foundation for your learning.
Early literacy is so important for developing those critical early reading skills. In support of early literacy community efforts, Donna Corcoran, Nicki Sutherland, Andrew Van Herik, Marcia Zboril, and I have collaborated with the Lake County Health Department’s Reach Out and Read program. We have conducted book drives and have donated 11,087 new or gently used books for Lake County children ages 6 months to 5 years old!!! Impressive work. And we’re not done yet!
At the Lake County Health Department, they promote early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families. At each regular checkup from 6 months through 5 years of age, the child receives a new book to take home. They have created literacy-rich environments that provide gently-used books in their waiting rooms, and volunteer readers’ model reading aloud techniques for parents.
Their research has shown that children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their peers on vocabulary tests. Wow.
At D117, Nicki Sutherland has done tremendous work with her Reading Improvement classes. In fact, “The Reading Improvement classes are currently working on writing and producing their very own children’s book. Each student wrote three stories this semester and chose their favorite one to make into a book on the website www.blurb.com. This is a website that allows any writer the ability to put together their own book to either purchase themselves or sell to the public. The reading class is also working to help promote the Reach Out and Read book drive through creating decorations in the commons. Look out for the large Ninja Turtles that will soon be up on the commons windows.“
We believe that these early literacy efforts are having an impact in Lake County and in our district. We are now entering our eighth year, and we are hoping you will help support us in our book drive efforts.
We will be conducting our book drive from March 9 – 20. If you have any new or gently used books in any language for children ages 6 months to 5 years, you can drop the books in our collection boxes. At ACHS, the boxes are in the ILC or main office. At Lakes, the boxes are located in the main office and the lower ILC.
Thank you for your support.