For the fifth consecutive year, a partnership between Barnes & Noble and United Way’s Success by 6 initiative is changing lives in Bucks County. The mission is simple: To encourage the love of reading and promote early literacy.
Each year in November, Barnes & Noble Oxford Valley begins their annual Book Drive to support Success By 6. They ask customers to purchase a book for a child in Bucks County who may not have one of their own. This year a record 8,307 books were donated – that’s 3,000 more than last year!
It takes months of coordination to get all of these books distributed to early childhood centers, as well as UW Bucks member and affiliate agencies. This year, the books were delivered to partners all over Bucks County, including: Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts partners, the YMCA, Bucks County Head Start, Family Service Association’s Emergency Shelter, Bucks County Housing Group’s shelters, Libertae, A Woman’s Place – and over 20 more beneficiaries.
Part of the goal of the program is to make sure that children and families have access to books in their homes. Ensuring access to books – particularly for preschool children – is critical. Children must learn to read if they are going to succeed. Reading aloud to children when they are young is the first step.
A recent study found that if you read to 3 – 5 year old children at least three times per week , they are:
· Two times more likely to recognize all letters;
· Two times more likely to have word-sight recognition;
· Two times more likely to understand words in context.
Of course, when it comes to reading, more is better! Here are some quick tips for encouraging a love of reading in your home:
· Plan time to read aloud to your child every day;
· Create a special reading place in your home;
· Make reading part of everyday activities by reading signs in the stores or on labels;
· Make reading fun by experimenting with different tones of voice for each character, using sound effects & gestures.
Many thanks to all of the Bucks County residents who purchased books at this year’s Barnes & Noble Oxford Valley book drive – and keep reading, Bucks County!
About the Contributor:: An Aries, Lindsey Walker is a born and bred Bucks County resident with a heart that always wants to do the right thing and loves to help people even if she has little to give. Lindsey enjoys running, biking, camping and anything related to the outdoors. Live music and Philadelphia sports teams are two of her passions as well as thoroughly enjoying her work as a Grant Administrator – Success By 6 & Resource Development Associate.