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Pajama storytime Nov. 26 at El Cerrito Library for preschoolers

The Youth Services Librarian at the El Cerrito Library will be providing a pajama storytime for preschool age children on Monday, November 26th starting at 7 PM. All children who attend will receive a children's book, a backpack perfectly sized for toddlers, and bookmarks with tips for reading to young children.

The event is part of a Contra Costa Children and Families Commission month-long literacy campaign named “Ready, Set, Read.” The commission awarded nearly $130,000 in Prop. 10 funds to 48 local community-based organizations, library branches, and child care providers promoting reading to children up to age five.

“The ‘Ready, Set, Read’ Literacy Campaign celebrates parents as their child’s first and most important teacher,” said Brenda Blasingame, Executive Director of the Contra Costa Children and Families Commission. “Reading out loud to babies and young children has a profound impact on their development and builds a foundation for later learning.”

The “Ready, Set, Read” Literacy Campaign launch coincides with National Family Literacy Day, and by showcasing bilingual and professional storytellers as well as Cambridge Elementary School’s Ballet Folklorico, the “Ready, Set, Read” campaign launch celebrates the importance of parents and caregivers reading to young children. Research has shown that reading out loud to a child increases his or her understanding of language and vocabulary. It is one of the most important ways to get children ready for success in school.

To promote reading and language development for children up to age five in Contra Costa, nearly $130,000 in Prop. 10 funds were awarded to various local community-based organizations such as three Reach Out and Read pediatric literacy programs, located at Kaiser’s Richmond Hospital and the Pediatric Health Clinics in Richmond and Concord. At these programs, doctors give books to children ages 6 months to 5 years old at every well child check-up as they talk with parents about the importance of reading to their children.

At the community-based organization Stand! Against Domestic Violence, workers will provide preschool-age children and parents living in domestic violence shelters with storytelling demonstrations, while the Oakley Library will expand its current supply of Spanish-language children’s books.

The Commission has also donated 3,000 children’s books to the Contra Costa County Library to encourage families to visit their local library. Coupons will be distributed to children up to age five to receive a free book at a library branch as well. More than half of the coupons will be given to children who are enrolled in subsidized child care.

In 1998, California voters approved Proposition 10, which levied a 50-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes. Revenues generated are used to fund local health, child care and education programs that promote early childhood development, targeting children during their first five years of life, as well as anti-tobacco education. Approximately $9 million per year funds programs and projects in Contra Costa County.

Run dates: 2001-11-21 - 2001-11-26

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