Books for Kids
Books for Kids is a free program designed to promote early literacy by providing free books and parenting resources to families who live or work in the greater Mankato, Minnesota area. Reading to a child at an early age has been proven to increase the child's school readiness by developing literacy skills, language patterns, attention spans and creativity. As a child grows, reading becomes increasingly important for understanding the world, achieving academic success and succeeding in the workforce. Reading is linked to high school success; without strong reading skills, children fall behind, disengage and often drop out. Reading books aloud with children every day not only builds language and pre-literacy skills, but exposes them to new ideas, builds their social/emotional and problem solving skills and inspires them to become life-long learners.
What is Early Literacy? Early literacy theory emphasizes the natural unfolding of skills through the enjoyment of books, positive interactions between young children and adults, and literacy-rich experiences such as singing nursery rhymes, listening to stories, recognizing words, and scribbling. Remember, while "reading" books with small children: talk or sing about the pictures, let them turn the pages (it's ok to skip pages!). Click here to read more tips from the February issue of Early Learning Digest (pg 2).
Why Begin with Infants? The early years of life are a period in which the foundation for future learning is being laid. Click here to read the article on Zero to Three's website about why it's so important to start early.
Why Read 20 Minutes Each Day? Just 20 minutes a day reading aloud with young children strengthens relationships, encourages listening and language skills, promotes attention and curiosity, and establishes a strong reading foundation. From birth to age five, this enjoyable activity provides 600 hours of essential pre-literacy preparation before entering school. Click here to read more about this important part of your day.
Books for Kids
Children between the ages of 2 months up to their 5th birthday receive a free monthly mailing which includes the First Steps Newsletter and Early Learning Digest as well as a free book, generously donated by Coughlan Cos., a local publisher.
First Steps Newsletter
First Steps is aimed at ensuring that all children in our community have an opportunity to grow up healthy and school ready. The monthly First Steps Newsletter includes information from local providers including: Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Ready! for Kindergarten, and Childcare Resource and Referral Network.
Early Learning Digest
Early Learning Digest is research-based information provided through a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Education and the Working Family Resource Center.
Calendar of Events
Parents receive an overview of some of the family-friendly events going on around our community each month.
Click on a month below to read the most current newsletters:
January 2015 First Steps Newsletter
January 2015 Early Learning Digest
December 2014 First Steps Newsletter
December 2014 Early Learning Digest
December 2014 3 & 4 year old Literacy Activity
December 2014 2 year old Literacy Activity
December 2014 0-1 year old Literacy Activity