Readathon Kicks Off Early Literacy Program at Pinney Library
On January 8, over 200 neighbors celebrated the launch of Pinney Library’s new early literacy initiative, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. Funded by a $3,700 grant from the foundation, this free program promotes reading to newborns, infants and toddlers while encouraging parent and child bonding through reading.
The kickoff included Madison figures like Mayor Paul Soglin, Michelle Li of WISC-TV, and city police and firefighters reading stories nonstop for five hours. By the end of the event, 112 children had joined the new program.
“1000 Books Before Kindergarten emphasizes that year-round reading is essential for children to build the vocabulary awareness and pre-reading skills they need to enter kindergarten ready to learn,” said Lesley Kircher, youth services librarian at Pinney Library.
a quarterly newsletter from the Madison Public Library Foundation
In the program, families sign up and track their child’s reading. For every 100 books read, children receive a sticker. After finishing 1,000 books, children earn a free book.
“1,000 seems like a large number, but for a newborn baby that enters the program, reading only one book a day for that baby’s first five years makes an incredible difference in the child’s readiness for school,” said Pinney supervisor Sarah Lawton.
Pinney will serve as the pilot location for this program with plans to expand it to all nine libraries. In the meantime, families from all across Madison can sign up at Pinney Library or on the library’s website.