Erica Cardenas

Encourage literacy through mini home libraries

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Public libraries have been serving patrons since the ancient Greeks developed the idea in the fourth century B.C. But what about creating a personal space at home to encourage reading and provide children with skills that will enhance their public library experience? 

According to studies, about 25 percent of Arizona fourth-graders are prepared to read proficiently and children who are read to at least three times weekly are nearly twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading.

The “Read On Greater Phoenix” network identifies three easy steps to create a special reading place in your home aimed at making literacy a fun part of daily life: 

Select a special space for your child to look at books that is inviting and permanent; this can be an entire room or a cozy corner. Include a chair or pillows and a small shelf or basket for favorite books. 

Make the books easy to reach for small children – you can even include paper and pen to encourage them to write new story endings.

Include stuffed animals so your child can read to a favorite pal, another great tool to improve literacy.

Additional literacy tips to incorporate into your new in-home reading space can be found at vsuw.org/readingtips. Families are also encouraged to share their home libraries on Valley of the Sun United Way’s Facebook page at facebook.com/myvsuw and on their Twitter feed @myvsuw using hashtag #minihomelibrary.

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