Reading Opens New Worlds for a Child!
By Jimmie Epling
Darlington County Library System
Reading is a fundamental skill every child needs to succeed in the early 21st century world! There can be no doubt that those who cannot read or read poorly are at a disadvantage in our digital age. The Darlington County Library System and reading is not about just books. We are about reading in all its forms and join in efforts to encourage children to read!
The Eastern Carolina Pediatric Clinic’s Dr. Donte Lewis is a leader in introducing young children to reading and books through participation in the Reach Out and Read program, a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. When the call came via our “Welcome Baby Bag” partner First Steps that Dr. Lewis was in search of a cart to help deliver books to the children in the examination rooms, the staff leapt into action. The Library delivered a colorful book cart on April 13th with a literature rack for the staff to deliver books to the children visiting the clinic.
The Library, First Steps, and Carolina Pines Hospital have been partners for over two years in the “Welcome Baby Bag” initiative; each child born at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center receives a colorful “Welcome Baby Bag” filled with information on child care, a growth chart, baby board books, a library card application, baby wipes and other baby supplies before leaving the hospital. It is never too early to start reading to a child. The “Welcome” bag is our gift to each child in the hope that it will spur that all-important first step on a journey of life-long reading. A child who can read can change the world.
Head Starts in the county met at Byerly Park in Hartsville for a celebration of the Week of the Young Child on April 15th. Hundreds of three and four years old, their teachers and family, spent a fun and educational morning at the park with all four of the Library children’s librarians, Liz Davis (Darlington), Michelle Wallace (Lamar), Lori Strickland (Hartsville), and Diana Williamson (Society Hill). They began with interactive songs, such as the “Tooty Ta”, and promoted the upcoming sports themed Summer Reading Program. During the morning, they distributed information on our current programs the summer reading program, bottled water, and temporary “READ” tattoos to the children. The field day event brought a unique experience to the world of the children who attended.
The Darlington Branch of the Library will host the 2nd Annual Read-a-thon Day on Saturday, May 21st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To volunteer, contact Children’s Librarian Liz Davis at the Darlington Branch. The Read-a-thon is free and open to everyone of all ages who want to listen to great stories.
Once again the Library will be sponsoring a free summer reading program “Ready, Set, Read!” to keep children’s reading skills honed during the summer months. The program will focus on everything sports related with special programs and prizes for participants. Registration begins on May 23rd. The kickoff program by the theater group Pork Chop Productions. It will be performed at all four locations on June 7th or 8th (check your local branchfor dates and times). Each branch will be “Accelerated Reader” (AR) test sites again this summer.