Born to Read: A New Program in St. Louis Gives Free Books

Born to Read: A New Program in St. Louis Gives Free Books to Newborns
St. Louis County Public Library has announced a new program called “Born to Read” that will provide free baby board books to as many as 8,000 newborns at four local hospitals participating in the program. Set to launch in January 2015, the program aims to encourage early childhood literacy.

According to a report on St. Louis Public Radio station KWMU 90.7, library director Kristen Sorth says the goal is to get parents to start reading to their babies as soon as possible. As she says, when babies hear their parents reading it helps the newborns develop language skills that will help them succeed in school.

Another part of the program is to host a baby’s first birthday at the library where the child will receive another free book.

“It does make a difference in terms of them developing the skills that they need to start kindergarten,” Sorth said. “A lot of children are behind when they start kindergarten and many of those kids never catch up.”

For more information on “Born to Read,” visit the St. Louis County Public Library website

In March 2015, Lectura Books will launch their new Infant / Toddler Baby Talk Board Book Series to encourage Spanish speaking parents to read with their Infants and Toddlers. The books will be bilingual and will have an interesting fact or two about the picture, which is age-appropriate for Infants and Toddlers, but also keeps the parents interested.

“If the parents are not interested in the book, then it becomes a chore to get through. We don’t want parents to have to pretend to be interested. So our goal is to increase parent engagement with their young children, by making the book interesting, so as to foster language and true engagement”, says Katherine Del Monte, publisher at Lectura Books.

By providing the books in a bilingual format, parents can learn new English vocabulary while they learn to read with their children. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about these new board books and sign-up to receive our monthly e-newsletter where the announcement will be made, and books are often raffled off for free.