Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Prescott Public Library to celebrate the “The Rock Garden,” an early literacy play space that opened last November.
Designed for children from birth to five years, the play space offers an environment that encourages early childhood literacy with books, toys, a puppet stage and comfy furniture. The area also hosts a collection of parenting materials and examples of literacy activities that can easily be replicated at home.
The Arizona State Library, a division of the Secretary of State, with the help of government and private partnerships has expanded its annual summer reading program offered by libraries across the state.
The Arizona State Library has joined in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, First Things First, the Governor’s Office of Education Innovation and Read On Arizona in a first-ever statewide collaboration of services and resources focused on childhood literacy; reaching families and children of all ages to engage them in summer reading.
This program is designed to get children to realize the rewards of reading by encouraging them to exercise their imaginations and make reading a daily event this summer. Evidence shows that children who stop reading over summer vacation often fall behind when they return to school in August. I encourage all school children to take part in this program whether they want to learn about sports stars, or stars in outer space. Be it poolside, camping or on the beach, bring a book with you and read!
The Arizona Reading Program has three different levels: adults, teens and preschoolers/elementary school. The theme for this year’s program is “underground.” The goal is to have 100,000 readers participate in the summer reading program. To participate, sign up at your local library. To find a library near you, visit the Arizona State Library’s website at: www.azlibrary.gov/libdir.