January 21, 2019

Library encourages families to read together


MIO –– The Oscoda County Library will host its third annual Prime Time Family Reading Program through February and March to promote family reading and engage educationally and economically vulnerable children between the ages of 6 and 10.

While the library encourages family reading year-round, Programming Clerk Beth Barron said the event will be hosted near Reading Month, which is in March, to pair up the ideas of togetherness and group learning while the nearby schools do similar practices.

Each week, a storyteller will visit the library in Mio and read culturally diverse children’s books including fairy tales, folktales, fables, historical accounts and other narrations of real-life circumstances that are familiar to both adults and children, according to Barron. Following the reading, the discussion leader will guide the group through open-ended questions to connect with the literature and think beyond the story.

The program, which is available for 15-20 families and runs for six weeks, is funded through a three-year grant given to the Oscoda County Library by the Michigan Humanities Council. This is the final year of the grant and Barron said she is able to reapply for it each year. This year’s program will begin Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. and includes a meal and transportation if needed.

“Last year was very successful as there were 15 families that benefited and many area businesses that donated food for the meals,” Barron said, listing several businesses as well as churches that contributed.

At the conclusion of the program, participating families will get to keep the 10 books that will be covered during the program and will be entered for a chance to win a door prize each week they attend.

“One of the things that I am most looking forward to this year are the new families that will be in the program and watching the excitement in the kids’ eyes as they arrive every week knowing the fun they are going to have going over the books,” Barron said.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not. Approximately 26 percent of children who were read to three or four times per week by a family member recognize all letters of the alphabet, compared to only 14 percent out of children who were read to less frequently.

The NCES also reported that children aged 3-5 who are read to frequently are also more likely to count to 20 or higher than those who were not, write their own names and read or pretend to read. Children who read frequently develop stronger reading skills and tend to score higher in the classroom.

To register your family or for more information, contact Barron at 989-826-3613 or by email at bethbarron2012@gmail.com. Area businesses interested in donating food, meals or door prize items to the Prime Time program have been asked to contact Barron at her number


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