Read early. Read often. Shifts to Address Need
JUNE 10, 2020
Read Early, Read Often (RERO), established in 2016, distributes free children’s books to families in Oceana County through partnerships with local agencies including area nonprofits, early childhood centers, food pantries, and more! RERO encourages reading to children starting at birth. Babies and toddlers who are read to early and often will have heard as many as thirty million more words than children who aren’t read to before Preschool. Further, the number of books in a child’s home has shown to be as impactful on a child’s educational attainment as the education level of her parents.
Traditionally an initiative focused on building the home libraries of families with children ages 0 to 5, Read early. Read often. has made the necessary shift to support older children as well during these critical times. While many book distribution locations such as District Health Department #10 and our local food pantries have undergone procedural changes that do not allow for regular book distribution, other agencies are coming up with new and fun ways to give books to families. Early Head Start distributed books along with care packets that were left on family’s doorsteps and Little Free Libraries throughout the County have remained stocked.
Through collaboration with Love, Inc., RERO was able to provide young readers in the community with almost 2,500 books! The project added books to activity packs given out alongside our school district’s food distribution programs and included books for students of all ages. Connecting readers with literature and adventure, especially during the pandemic, is crucial to growing strong reading skills that impact academic development. Together as a community, these books are a symbol of the connection created by literature and compassion, allowing young students across Oceana County to continue experiencing the joy of reading at home.