School District 65 and the Evanston Public Library are collaborating on a kick-off event for a new program aimed at having all pre-schoolers reading at grade level by the time the reach third grade.

The program is scheduled to be introduced to parents of the 200 four-year-olds participating in pre-kindergarten programs at the school system with a workshop event on April 13.

Rick Kinnebrew and Laura Antolin of the Evanston Public Library will present the workshop on what’s called “dialogic reading” — a procedure for reading and discussing books with children that research shows encourages youngsters to become effective readers.

The timing of the kickoff event is designed to coincide with the Week of the Young Child program organized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

All families participating in the workshop will receive a book, in either English or Spanish, to take home and help build a home library for their children.

More information about the Smart Start program is available from the district’s literacy coordinator, Ellen Fogelberg, at 847-859-8030.

Above: An image from the Smart Start brochure.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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