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Miami-Dade Public Library Set To Launch Reading Ready – Early Literacy Program

MIAMI – Research has shown that a child’s early experience with language is key to healthy brain formation and creates a solid foundation for learning to read when that child begins school. With this in mind, the Miami-Dade Public Library System will launch Reading Ready, an early literacy program for parents and caregivers of children, birth to 5, on Monday, November 16, at 10:30 a.m.

Members of the community are invited to join library officials, at the International Mall Branch, 10315 NW 12 St., for a special kickoff celebration and the opportunity to preview a model of the Reading Ready early literacy centers planned for branches throughout the system.

“The Miami-Dade Public Library System recognizes the importance of early literacy in childhood development and we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help parents and caregivers assist children in learning to read,” says Library Director Raymond Santiago. “The Reading Ready early literacy program is another way that we are laying the foundation to help people lead better lives, and to inspire a desire for lifelong learning.”

In 2008, the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS) conducted a study measuring the development of emergent literacy skills in children ages zero to five. The results of Miami-Dade County’s screening revealed that 31.1 percent of the students were considered as moderate to high risk in the area of Alphabet Recognition, 40.7 percent as moderate/high risk in the area of Sound Recognition (phonics), and 14.1 percent were identified as not being classroom ready.

The Reading Ready program will be available at all 48 branches, and parents and caregivers can learn about the six early literacy skills (Phonological Awareness, Letter Knowledge, Print Awareness, Print Motivation, Vocabulary, Narrative Skills) that children need to know in order to learn to read. There will be brochures and other materials that highlight the skills and provide information on books, resources and activities that will educate adults on ways to help children develop these skills. The library has also created a special page on its website www.mdpls.org with information and tools to support the program.

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