A love for reading, and chances for a brighter future starts at the beginning of life.

A love for reading, and chances for a brighter future starts at the beginning of life.  
The Family Literacy Council is initiating two programs that will get books in the hands of children early in life, and encourage parents to read to their babies. In just a few weeks, the council will complete the final tasks of “OneBook4Carthage,” which will give a book to every four-year-old in Carthage. And, beginning in May, every child born at the Mercy Hospital Carthage will receive a Mother Goose book along with a goodie-bag of reading promotion.
“Research shows reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning,” the Council stated. “If you have been reading 20 minutes a day with your child from birth, you have given your child almost 400 hours of pre-literary experience.”
“OneBook4Carthage” will coordinate with Parents As Teachers to distribute the books to children. In time, the Literacy Council will have given every Carthage child two books – one at birth and one at the age of four.
Also this month, the council gave $500 to the Summer Reading Program at the Carthage Public Library.
In May, the council sponsors a Carthage High School scholarship valued at $1,000, and in August a Missouri Southern State University scholarship valued at $500.
The council also will donate backpacks to the Salvation Army valued at $1,000.
In 2014, the Literacy Council will have donated $12,356 to the Carthage community.

Across the U.S., just under half (47.8 percent) of all children five and under are read to everyday, which means that over 13 million children go to bed at night without a bedtime story.

More than one in three children arrive at kindergarten without the skills necessary for lifetime learning.

Third grade is the turning point where a child stops learning to read and starts reading to learn. Reading the gateway for nearly all subjects and opportunities in school.

The National Research Council links the problem to future failures: any child who's not reading fairly well by the end of third grade is unlikely to graduate from high school.

Information Courtesy of Family Literacy Council