Reading a priority as children’s center nears book goals

The Child Development Center set a goal to read 500 books to the children who attend their center within 100 days in an effort to provide and encourage exposure to a variety of literature.

The idea is an expansion upon the goal made last semester by Kim Stevenson, a teacher of 4-year-olds, to read 100 books to the children in her classroom. This semester the entire CDC has gotten involved and hope to read 500 different books within 100 days.

“We, as early childhood educators, know the importance of reading to your children at this age,” said CDC supervisor Becky Halligan.

The goal of 500 books in 100 days serves two purposes, Halligan said. First, it encourages parents to spend time with their child and second, it gets them interested in reading.

“Reading is such a critical piece of their education,” Halligan said.

As of March 8 the children had read a total of 262 books.

“It’s a great incentive to get kids to read,” said Renee Woodward, a 35-year-old human services major and parent who utilizes the CDC. “This is a great place and it’s a great idea.”

Faculty and staff at Cosumnes River College are invited to attend as guest readers and read aloud to one of the classrooms to help the CDC achieve their goal.

A few faculty members have already participated with a several more scheduled to read to the children, including CRC President Deborah Travis, Halligan said.

There are many ways reading has become a priority in the CDC.

This semester the classrooms offer a lending library and every room has about 10 bags with two to three books in each that the children can check out and take home for a few days, Halligan said.

The children are also able to utilize the campus library, giving them the opportunity to read a variety of books.

The classroom with children ranging from kindergartners to 10-year-olds, go about once every two weeks to the campus library, where they check out a few books for their classroom in an effort to continue the “theme of keeping reading as a priority,” Halligan said.

It doesn’t end there as, the children can get credit for reading outside of the classroom, too.

Parents can read to their child at home and bring in the title to be recorded, Halligan said.

“Reading is a very big part of our lifestyle,” said Angela Stacey, 28, a human services major, another parent that utilizes the CDC. “Books are kind of a way to utilize your imagination and the resources that you’re given.”

Some of the children enjoy reading the same book over and over again, but each book can only be counted once for the purposes of the goal.

“In the 2-year-old room they can’t read “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed” enough. They read it eight, 10 times a day but they only get to put on one sticker,” Halligan said.

Each time a new book is read, either in class or at home, the students get to place a sticker on one of the tracking boards.

“The kids think that is the best thing ever,” Stacey said.

If you are interested in helping them reach their goal by reading to one of the classrooms, contact the CDC to schedule a reading at 916-691-7380.