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Winter library program to help parents of small children

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Failure to read to youngsters from birth to age 3 is cited by some educational experts as a reason for a child’s lack of success upon entering school, but a program by the Evanston Public Library aims to help parents overcome that problem.

Beginning Jan. 2, the library will promote reading to very young children through a winter reading program, "Winter Words: Reading and Talking." The program encourages talking and reading with children from birth to 3 years of age.

Parents are invited to come to any location of the Evanston Public Library to register, then read and converse for 14 days in January with their child, keep track in a reading log with stickers, and choose a free, new, high-quality book for their home library at the end of the 14 days. 

Registration is on-going between Jan. 2 through Jan.18. The program must be completed by Jan. 31. The library plans to expand the program, started last year, to include more small home daycare facilities in the community.

Early exposure to words, language, and reading is regarded as a key component of future success in school and beyond, according to a library news release. Studies show that children who are talked to frequently from birth are significantly better prepared for school success.

"We can all give our youngest children a big advantage through the simple act of reading and talking,” said Karen Danczak Lyons, director of the library. “This program,” she adds, “provides motivation and tools to support all parents and caregivers in reading and developing vocabulary in their babies, whose minds are hungry to learn, right from the start."

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Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio stations and business-oriented magazines.

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