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Target Gives Library $2,000 to Promote Children’s Literacy

The grant will support Reach Out and Read at the Franklin and Carpinteria clinics

The Santa Barbara Public Library System has received a $2,000 grant from Target to help promote early childhood literacy.

The grant will support the Reach Out and Read program at the Franklin and Carpinteria clinics.

“Target’s donation will allow the library to purchase approximately 800 children’s books to distribute to children at the public health clinics during their well-child exams,” said Robin Gray-Reed, coordinator for the library’s Reach Out and Read program. “With these books, the children can begin to build their very own home library.”

The Santa Barbara Public Library System coordinates Reach Out and Read as part of its Youth Outreach Programs. With ROR, the library strives to get books into the hands of young children and encourage their parents to read aloud to them and visit the library often for more great books and literacy information.

Reach Out and Read is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on bringing a love of books and reading to children growing up in poverty. ROR’s mission is to make literacy a standard aspect of pediatric visits, giving out new, culturally sensitive books to children at routine medical checkups from age 6 months to 5 years.

In addition, the Santa Barbara Public Library System builds on its partnership with the clinics participating in the program by providing library volunteers to read to children in waiting rooms and give literacy information to parents. The volunteers model reading aloud, while pediatricians advise parents about the benefits of reading aloud as a family.

“Reach Out and Read’s work is important because we know that when health-care providers encourage parents to read with their children, it not only promotes early childhood literacy, but also supports family literacy and bonding as well,” Gray-Reed said. “The children are so excited to receive a book of their own to take home, and the parents are eager to read with them.”

To get involved with the library’s Reach Out and Read program, click here or call Gray-Reed at 805.564.5646.

— Christine Gallery represents the Santa Barbara Public Library System.

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