Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Every year at the Lakewood Library, children attending baby, toddler and preschool storytimes come in costume. At the end of storytime, they trick or treat with Library staff.
It’s a happy parade! The children have a blast, while learning to love books and the Library. The parents stand by, doting and taking pictures. And we're graced with a refreshing break in the day and a potent reminder of why we're here.
So, why do we offer these storytimes?
We know that more than 90 percent of brain development occurs when children are between the ages of birth and five. We know that reading aloud to babies and toddlers promotes positive brain development and delivers important pre-reading skills. And we know that many children in Jefferson County - especially those from economically challenged areas - don't have books and are not read to at home.
That's why we hold thousands of storytimes every year, to give our youngest residents the best possible start in life. We work with parents and caregivers, too, to give them tools they can use at home to help their children become good readers.
Now, we'd like to do more!
The trick for us is to extend storytimes in as many ways and places as we can - in libraries, in preschool and daycare center locations, in multiple, diverse communities, and with particular attention to children with special needs.
You can help us achieve these goals by donating to the Jefferson County Library Foundation's year end appeal, which launched this week. Monies raised go to support storytimes and other literacy programs at JCPL.
The treat in all of this is the satisfaction of helping to build the next generation of successful and productive citizens in Jefferson County.
Help us give the gift of reading to every child. Donate today.