Free bookbags for toddlers
Parents who bring their babies to North Lake Pediatrics for sixth month check-ups will receive a gift bookbag from The Church of the Mountains Preschool and the Rotary Club of Truckee.The bookbags are provided by “Read to Me: Sharing Books with Young Children,” a new program that supports the roots of literacy. The bags contain two or three childrens’ books in English or Spanish and literature for parents on the importance of fostering early reading skills.Dianne Fix, director of the Church of the Mountains Preschool, began the program because she believes that even she reaches children late.”By the time they get to me, they are already two and a half years,” she said. “The ‘Read to Me’ program reaches them at 6 months. It is really important to start at this age.”The Church of the Mountains Preschool plans to spend $3,000 to $4,000 a year on books for the project. This year, Rotary provided about $1,000, which paid for the canvas bags inscribed with both sponsors’ logos. W&T Graphix did the printing.Frank Bulkley, president of Truckee Noon Rotary, said he is glad Rotary can give money back to the community in this way.”What Diane is doing is remarkable,” Bulkley said.He added that local support of Rotary made their donation happen. “In truth the generosity of Truckee’s residents is what makes it possible for Rotary to give back to the community,” he said.North Lake Pediatrics in both Truckee and Tahoe City were chosen as hosts because Fix found that about 90 percent of the 700 students that have been through the Church of the Mountains Preschool are patients there. She wants to reach as many of her potential students as possible.The literature Fix included in the bookbags tells parents that, besides developing vocabulary, language, independence and imagination, “Reading is fun!” She said she hopes the information will encourage parents to read to their children well before they reach school age.Some tips she suggests for reading aloud to children are:- Read to children from birth.- Alter stories by putting in your child’s name.- Use as many senses as possible.- Look at picture books first, then build to storybooks.- Take children to storytimes at the library or bookstore.Fix offers a weekly storytime at the Truckee Library. She uses the Scholastic Book Club as a source for purchasing books and she spends a lot of time at the Book Shelf, which she called an “excellent resource.”When asked about her favorite authors for children, she said it is too hard to choose. “In the last 20 years, children’s literature has just gotten better and better,” she said. “Illustations have improved and there are so many new books every month.” Fix said she had no trouble picking stories for 47 weeks of “Storytelling with Mrs. Fix,” or for 500 bookbags.She offers this advice to parents: “Lead by example, Read for pleasure, Share your enthusiasm.” The “Read to Me” project allows Fix to do the same for Truckee.
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