This School Supply Builds Reading Skills


September 6, 2023                                 


This School Supply Helps First Graders Build Reading Skills 

YORK, PA – First grade students and their families will want to add one more item to their school supply list; a York County Libraries GOAL card. The card comes at a favorite price point for parents, free. Students can sign up for one through their classroom teachers during the first few weeks of school.  

York County Libraries Annual Grade One At the Library (GOAL) program offers a free library card to every first grade student in York County. Now entering its 16th year, YCL’s GOAL program has given library cards to 42,273 students since the program’s inception in 2008. The annual initiative is made possible thanks to the generous support of PeoplesBank; GOAL’s presenting sponsor since the program’s start.  

“The timing of giving a library card to a child entering first grade is significant. Children are just beginning to read, and a library card provides access to thousands of books, at no cost, to help them develop their newfound skills,” says York County Libraries President Robert F. Lambert. “It also provides a valuable opportunity for parents to connect with and help their children further expand what they are learning in school.” 

After students register for the GOAL program and receive their library cards, they are encouraged to visit any of the 13 York County library locations to check out some books and pick up participation prizes. One of the top prizes is a copy of “Who Made this Mess?” written by featured GOAL author Laura Gehl. In addition to getting a copy of the book, participants can meet Gehl and have the author autograph their books during the GOAL Celebration event in November. 

Gehl is the sixth nationally known children’s author selected to encourage York County first grade students to read. Previous GOAL authors include Tedd Arnold, Will Hillenbrand, Peter Catalanotto, Lindsay Barrett George, and Anthony D. Fredericks. Each author is involved for three years and visits York to inspire children to read and learn.  

The author of more than forty popular books for young readers, Gehl’s work includes “I Got a Chicken for My Birthday”, “My Pillow Keeps Moving, Except When They Don’t”, and “Apple and Magnolia.” Her books have received many awards and honors, including Kirkus best picture books of the year selection, Junior Library Guild selection, Indie Next List, CCBC choices selection, ALA Notable selection, Booklist Editors’ Choice, Amazon Editors’ Choice, Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title, ILA Honor Book, and the Mathical Award. 

 York County Libraries include 13 libraries that provide the latest in print and electronic information, best sellers, 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  


MEDIA CONTACT:                                                

Deb Sullivan
Community Relations Director
York County Libraries
[email protected]