There was a time in my early childhood that I disliked reading. I struggled with reading assignments in elementary school and dreaded mandatory class excursions to the library. This dislike didn’t stem from reading difficulties; rather the books I was reading did not engage me. I would become bored with the characters a few pages in and skip ahead to the end of the book.
It wasn’t until my dad introduced me to “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle that I discovered a character that spoke to me. This book and others soon became inextricably part of who I was. They influenced how I thought about beliefs systems, politics, about science and mystery, and how I imagined family life to be.
As a parent, I hope to instill the same love for and interest in reading in my own child. I have found the best way for me to achieve this is by simply reading to her. Reading provides me an opportunity to bond with my daughter, and also provides her a window into a world of literacy.
Last year, Robeson County Public Library started the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program in Lumberton. This program encourages parents and caregivers to provide positive, nurturing early experiences by reading aloud to their children regularly. Since beginning this program my daughter has read over 800 books. It has become part of her routine to mark her reading log each time she finishes a book. With each milestone she is able to pick out a small prize from the treasure box at the library.
My daughter also participates in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, where she receives a free book in the mail each month. She is over the moon with excitement each time a new book arrives. Preschool children from birth through 5 years old qualify thanks to the United Way of Robeson County and Dolly Parton. I know that these early interactions are building a foundation that will better prepare my child for reading. Both of these wonderful early literacy programs are available year-round at the library and are free. Sign your child up today.
Summer programming is in full swing at libraries around the county. Participate in the summer reading program by picking up a reading log at any library location. Don’t miss Hanshi Lacy Green, a 10th-degree black belt, this Saturday at 11 a.m. for a karate demonstration and history of the dojo. All ages are welcome at this event.
Please visit our website at www.RobesonCountyLibrary.org for a complete schedule of programs at all locations. Robeson County Public Libraries will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
Leah Tietje-Davis is the Adult Services librarian for the Robeson County Public Library.