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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2023
York County Libraries to Hold Reading Journey Celebration for Families
YORK, PA – York County Libraries will host a Reading Journey Celebration for families from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 4th. The annual event will be held at the Paul Smith Library of Southern York County, located at 80 Constitution Avenue in Shrewsbury. This year’s celebration includes guest storytellers, crafts, snacks, a costume parade, and dance party. Children are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite fairy-tale characters. The festivities are geared to children, age birth to five, and their families. There is no cost to attend, and registration is requested via the yorklibraries.org events calendar. Questions about the Reading Journey Celebration should be directed to York County Libraries Youth Services Program Manager Bre Winters at [email protected].
The Reading Journey Celebration is part of the York County Libraries 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program which encourages York County parents to read 1,000 books with their children before they start school. Children from the day they are born to the day they start kindergarten can participate. The program is free for all participants thanks to the support of the Richard S. & Ann B. Barshinger Family Foundation.
“Reading is a game-changing skill that parents can help their children acquire,” says York County Libraries President Robert F. Lambert. “By reading together every day, children gain a robust vocabulary and a broader understanding of their world. This quality family reading time provides an enriching language foundation for a child’s future success.”
According to Paula Gilbert, interim youth services director at York County Libraries, it is never too early to start reading to a child. Research, presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies in 2017 by Carolyn Cates, PhD, showed that reading books with a child beginning in early infancy can boost vocabulary and reading skills four years later, before the start of elementary school.
“Our goal is for families to read 1000 books together to give their children a great start. It can be done in as little as one year by reading just three books a day,” says Gilbert. “And for the child who asks for their favorite book to be read repeatedly, each time counts. The key to reaching the goal is to develop a regular reading routine.”
York County Libraries launched the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program in 2018, and since that time over 4,100 children and their families participated. Registration is ongoing at local libraries and families receive a passport to help track progress at each 100-book milestone. When participants reach 500 and 1,000 books, they are awarded special reading incentives at their library.
York County Libraries include 13 locations that provide the latest print and electronic information, bestsellers, Wi-Fi, story times, book discussions and more. Their librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning, providing opportunities and resources for all ages. Through early childhood literacy programs, they ignite a love of reading and learning in young children and empower parents as their children’s first teachers. To learn more about York County Libraries’ programs, services, and resources, go to yorklibraries.org.
Community Relations Director
For additional details:
Pediatric Academic Societies presentation:
‘Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Book reading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes’ by Cates, et. al. (2017) http://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/05/04/PASLiteracy050417
York County Libraries program: