Reading program to distribute 800 children’s books in Summit County |

Reading program to distribute 800 children’s books in Summit County

Kathryn Corazzelli
Summit Daily News
'Margaret and Margarita' is this year's book for the early childhood literacy program in Summit County.

On top of having books in the home and modeling a love for reading, experts agree talking and reading to young children – including infants and toddlers – are two of the best ways parents can help their children prepare for school. So, to promote literacy among young children, the Summit County Family Fun Literacy Coalition will distribute 800 copies of “Margaret and Margarita,” by Lynn Reiser, to children up to age 5 this Thursday throughout Summit County.

The book is bilingual, and tells the story of two young girls who speak different languages, yet learn to be friends. It will be distributed in licensed child care and preschool programs – as well as in literacy and speech groups – as part of the One Book, One Summit – Every Young Child program, a community effort to promote a love of books and reading to all young children.

“(It’s) so important in this community: to have a bilingual book, and not just one Spanish book and one English book, but to have it put together,” said Johanna Kugler, special projects manager at Early Childhood Options, one of the program’s sponsors. Other sponsors include: Colorado Mountain College, Summit County Early/Head Start and the Rotary Club of Summit County.

Volunteers will read the book to the groups of children, and then send it home with them to keep, along with a bilingual activity sheet to complete with their parents.

Kugler said the book was chosen because it’s written in both English and Spanish, and is a great story for children up to age 5. She said that time frame is the perfect age for children to get involved in literacy.

“(Literacy) really starts at birth,” she said. “This particular book has great pictures and a good message.”

This is the second year for the event, which takes place in the “Month of the Young Child.” Kugler said she heard wonderful reviews after conducting last year’s event, at which the literacy coalition distributed 1,000 books.

“We’ve had so many people who are saying this is so wonderful because it’s in both Spanish and English,” she said. “Also, kiddos always love getting free books.”

She said numerous parents reported they completed the activity sheet with their children.

“It’s about having families look at literacy and realize that (it’s) more than just reading a book.”

For more information about the project, and/or to volunteer to read on the 28th, contact Kugler at (970) 513-1170 ext. 313.

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