The Valley Children’s Literacy Program promotes and encourages children in Central California to become lifelong readers. Statistics show that young children who were read five books a day, enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to.1
However, only 48% of families below the poverty level read to their preschoolers each day, compared with 64% of families whose incomes were at or above the poverty level.2 While children who are read to may get a head start in language and literacy skills, those who weren’t may experience reading difficulties. Reading difficulties and illiteracy contribute to school failure, increasing absenteeism, school drop-outs, juvenile delinquency, increased crime, teen pregnancy, drug use and other problems that impact our community. Studies show the easiest way to increase literacy among pre-school and school age children is to simply read to them.
Doctors and medical staff at Valley Children’s talk to families about the importance of reading and patients receive a book each time they visit participating practices to encourage at-home reading. To help share the importance of reading, Valley Children’s Literacy Program accepts donations to support the program, both financial or in the form of new books. We cannot accept used books, due to infection control policies.
For more information on the Valley Children's Literacy Program, please contact Brian L. Baker, Library Services Program Manager and Literacy Program Coordinator, at 559-353-6170.