Literacy for Life: Carson City Library programs cultivate a love of reading

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

The Diaz family of Carson City checks out about 16 books a month from the library. That way, said mom Jocelyn, she and her husband, Hector, don't have to read the same stories over and over to their two young children.

"If you read to them early, they're going to want to read for themselves that much sooner," she said. "And if they like to read, they're going to do that much better in school."

The last book she read to 4-year-old Sophie was "The Librarian of Basra: A True Story

of Iraq."

"The library was burned and she wished for a new library," Sophie explained.

On Wednesday, Jocelyn brought Sophie and Mollie, 1, to the Carson City Library's story time, where children sing songs, play games and listen to books read by librarians.

"I love it very much," Sophie said. "It's my favorite."

Story time is also a favorite for Amber Sady, youth services

librarian.

"That's why I'm a children's librarian," she said. "I love working with little kids. I love when they get into a story - even when they're not exactly paying attention the whole time."

But it's more than just fun.

"The earlier you introduce reading to children, the better," Sady said. "It helps them develop their brains. Also, they develop a love for reading and a love for books."

According to the National Commission on Reading, the most significant factor influencing a child's early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.

The authors of "The Patterns of Book Ownership and Reading" concluded that 60 percent of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not own a single book.

"It's really critical to expose them to stories," Sady said. "And I think a lot of parents know how important literacy is."

She said the story times, offered at 10:15 and 10:45 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, is free and a good opportunity for parents to check out books.

In addition to stories, there are rhyming activities, dancing, singing and other games.

"I love story time," said Tyler Lawson, 4, who attended Wednesday. "In the morning, I'm going to come to there all the time."

Sady is also adding a story hour at the Northern Nevada Children's Museum, where children paint a piece of pottery that relates to the story.

Cost for that program is $12 for the pottery.

"It's so much fun," Sady said.

The Literacy for Life golf tournament, sponsored by the Nevada Appeal, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 16 at Thunder Canyon Golf Club.

Proceeds for the event go to Literacy for Life, which supports the News in Education program. The program has been working to improve reading skills in Carson City schools for the past 20 years. The cost is $120 per golfer. For more information call 882-2111.

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