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Reading together makes a lifetime of difference


Ask any librarian, and you will discover that we each have our own passion when it comes to library services.

Mine has always been services for children. To recommend the right book at the right time for a child, and then have them come back and ask for more, is truly rewarding. But it runs much deeper than that, and influences young people in ways that they can carry throughout their lives. All it takes is a book and 15 minutes a day.

That’s right – 15 minutes a day of reading with your child can help them learn and be successful in school. Reading your child a story not only provides them with entertainment, it creates a bond that lasts a lifetime. Let them hold a book, turn the pages, point out words that match illustrations. All these little things help your child’s brain make connections.

Additionally, exposure to words that exist outside our everyday language helps children prepare for school. The number of words a child knows when entering kindergarten is predictive of their future learning success, according to www.readaloud.org.

For example, take a look at Rock-a-Bye Romp by Linda Ashman and On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen. In Rock-A-Bye Romp, you discover words, such as shaking, nudges, fallen, bareback, trough, tumbled and immense. In On Duck Pond, words such as stillness, dawned, shattered, spattered, chittered and chattered are used. Combine them with a great story and fantastic illustrations and you set yourself and your child up for some fun bonding time.

Don’t worry about doing voices or acting out parts of the story. It is simply the time spent with your child and the exposure to books that makes all the difference in the world.

Not sure where to start? That’s where the Durango Public Library can help.

Trained staff at the library can suggest books that meet your child’s interests. There are thousands of books to choose from, and it’s free and open to all.

We want to get books into the hands of children. We want all kids to enter kindergarten with the skills to learn, and reading with your child can give them the extra boost they need.

With the holiday season upon us, I know that many are selecting gifts for children and family members or donating to families in need. Consider adding books to your list of gifts. They will make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

Sandy Irwin is director at Durango Public Library.