Library Festival Promotes Early Literacy With, And Without, Books

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Library Festival Promotes Early Literacy With, And Without, Books

Library's Sing Talk and Read Family Festival Offers Free Books, Games, Workshops

This Saturday, the DC Public Library is showing all of the ways parents can help young children build their vocabularies, fall in love with reading and develop the skills needed for school -- beyond just books -- at the STAR (Sing, Talk and Read) Family Festival.

Saturday’s event is hosted by the Library and backed by research showing that conversations, gestures and interactions between parents/caregivers and children from birth builds a foundation for learning. The festival will promote ways to weave singing, talking and reading into daily activities.

“Sitting down with children will always be an important way to help them develop,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the District of Columbia. “But, learning can also be part of daily activities like fixing dinner, riding the bus, singing or playing. The District wants to show how any time of day can be used to develop a love of learning in children.”  

There will be free books, story times and activities for children; workshops for parents; and visits by Clifford the Big Red Dog, SuperWhy and the Cat in the Hat.  Lucky attendees could also win door prizes that include $200 gift baskets and gift cards. Organizations like WETA, Scholastic and the National Children's Museum will help connect families to programs and resources that strengthen their role as parents; improve knowledge and practice of nurturing behaviors; and help families identify and select high-quality early childhood services and supports.

Families can find an additional one-stop shop for information, resources and services for their young child online, at the District’s new early-childhood website www.learndc.org/earlychildhood. Created by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the website features tips for parents to sing, talk and read with their children, book recommendations and family-friendly events.

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The Sing Talk and Read DC campaign is a $500,000 citywide initiative funded by the Mayor’s office and the State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council. The library is the lead agency on the Sing, Talk and Read DC campaign, in partnership with the Offices of the Deputy Mayors for Education and Health and Human Services, and the State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council. The Junior League of Washington and the Scholastic Corporation have each donated 4,000 books for young children.

The DC Public Library Foundation and Pounds provided food and door prizes for the STAR Family Festival.