By Charlotte L. Glover
October 23, 2005
The Ketchikan Public Library would like to thank the Ketchikan Education Association and Wal-Mart for their generous donations this past month to our "Born to Read" project. Thanks to their contributions, and those from the Friends of the Ketchikan Public Library, the library has been able to distribute a colorful tote bag, baby board book and baby "Born to Read" t-shirt to every child born on this island since 2004, some 550 babies to date.
The book bags provide a memorable invitation to visit the library and to make reading a family habit. Recent research is showing again and again that good readers come from a print rich environment and that reading aloud to babies and young children regularly is the best way to help them make the cognitive leap into reading during their school years. At a recent statewide literacy conference, we learned that "language acquisition at age three can predict a child's skill and school performance at age ten" and that humans have a "critical window for oral language, grammar and pronunciation which closes at age five." It is our hope that our colorful, fun and attractive book bags will start all Ketchikan children on the road to reading.
We also know that kids who are more comfortable with books and reading do better in school, have less grade repetition, need less special education, have higher graduation rates, lower pregnancy rates, less involvement in crime and the opportunity for better employment and higher earnings throughout life.
Charlotte L. Glover
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