BY BRIDGET QUINN-CAREY
Helping children become good readers is a gift that lasts a lifetime. It gives them the tools to do well in school and will remain a critical skill throughout their personal and working lives. Experts agree: parents are their children’s first and best teachers. Children who are read to at the earliest age are the most likely to become good readers themselves.
Read to your children. It does not make a difference what you read. Read the newspaper, read a magazine, read a picture book. It does not matter what language you read in, or if you think the child is too young to understand. Simply read to them, regularly.
Queens Library is your partner in developing good readers. We have many, many fun, high-quality books to lend in English and in many other languages. Children love them. Through picture books, children learn letters, numbers, colors and a lot of information about how the world works. Don’t be shy — borrow as many as you like!
Play time offers more opportunities for learning. Rhymes and finger games help little ones learn basic reading and math concepts. Queens Library has a variety of programs, parenting tools and materials that will help make reading and play even more fun, as well as educational.
Queens Library is NYC’s first library to introduce a Family Place. We are currently offering this program in five libraries and will be expanding the program in the autumn. Through this interactive program, parents and caregivers experience the learning opportunities of the library together with their children. Family Place provides a wide array of developmentally appropriate children’s books, parenting books and hands-on toys in a welcoming area designed exclusively for them. It has been so popular, we can’t wait to bring it to more Queens neighborhoods.
Kickoff-to-Kindergarten is a structured eight-week school-readiness program for children ages 3 and 4, currently offered at eight Queens Library locations. The goal is to encourage parents and caregivers to be the “first teachers” of our youngest patrons and help ensure that children are ready to learn at school.
You are never too young — or too old — to enjoy a great library story time. Many of us have wonderful memories of listening to stories, whether it was on a grandparent’s lap or in the library. Every culture, the world over, tells stories, and for good reason — stories teach while they entertain. Queens Library’s early childhood programs are for children as young as 12 months and up to pre-kindergarten. The little ones have a great time, learning and developing a love of reading and books.
Registration for summer reading is going on in every Queens Library location right now. Even children who do not read by themselves yet are welcome to sign up. School-aged children and teens keep their reading skills sharp and retain what they learned in school. Plus, it’s fun, it’s free and it’s right in the neighborhood. It’s an all-around win.
Queens Library invites you to partner with us to make great readers of every child in Queens.
Bridget Quinn-Carey is the interim president and CEO of the Queens Borough Public Library.