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Beauregard Parish Library to kick off early literacy program in 2022

According to Library Director and DeRidder Rotary Club member Erin Chesnutt, over $9,000 in...
According to Library Director and DeRidder Rotary Club member Erin Chesnutt, over $9,000 in grant funding was provided by Save the Children and over $900 in grant funding was provided by the rotary club.(kplc)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 2:23 PM CST
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Beauregard Parish, LA (KPLC) - The Beauregard Parish Library says it will be kicking off a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program in early 2022.

According to Library Director and DeRidder Rotary Club member Erin Chesnutt, over $9,000 in grant funding was provided by Save the Children and over $900 in grant funding was provided by the rotary club. Chesnutt added that that pairing is a natural fit as both entities have a long history of supporting literacy and educational pursuits.

The goal of the program is to have caregivers read 1,000 books to their children before they reach kindergarten, according to Chesnutt.

Chesnutt said the shared activity of reading aloud and exploring the worlds within the books provides a basis for toddlers and infants to become acquainted with pre-literacy and early literacy skills like phonic and print awareness, narrative skills, letter recognition, and increased vocabulary.

The Library plans to debut the local iteration of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten in February or March of 2022, according to Chesnutt.

Participation will be free and open to all under the age of six, and the grant will allow for small incentive prizes to be earned along the journey to 1000 books, according to Chesnutt.

“And don’t feel overwhelmed,” Chesnutt said. “If your little one wants to read Goodnight, Moon ten times one night, you’ve just logged ten books! Repetition is important and reinforces connections in young brains so it absolutely counts towards this goal.”

Chesnutt said DeRidder Rotary Club’s application for funding was selected by Save the Children along with seven other rotary club projects across the nation, and all selected programs are in support of innovative approaches to early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness.

More information on the program can be found on the library’s website and Facebook page.

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