Letter from the Library Director:

Read, Grow, Inspire @ Your Library

“April showers bring May flowers.” Most people are familiar with this saying. The month of May marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer. There’s growing anticipation for backyard barbecues, outdoor activities, and beach parties. Parents are planning family getaways, and school-age children are anticipating the last day of school for summer vacation.

Children’s Book Week, May 1 through 7, is an annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. This year’s theme is “Read, Grow, Inspire.” Children’s Book Week originated in the belief that children’s books and literacy are life-changers. It is never too early to start reading with your child. Even young infants can benefit from exposure to books and reading. 

Parents and teachers are essential partners in any child’s reading, writing, and language development, which can lead to school success. Everyday activities, like family meals, bath time, or shopping, are all fun opportunities for literacy development. And you don’t need much time for literacy activities – five minutes a few times a day is often enough. 

Family members can do the following activities at home to encourage preschool literacy.

  • Spend time conversing with your child to develop vocabulary and knowledge of the world.
  • Play with language to help your child listen to rhymes and letter sounds.
  • Teach your child about letters and words.
  • Read aloud with your child every day. Discuss the stories you read to make them more meaningful to your child.
  • Encourage your child to draw and write.
  • Use your child’s native language when you talk, read, write, play, and sing to help create a strong sense of self and support your child’s roots.

Be a model for your child. Children learn that reading and writing are important when they see adults using these skills!

I hope you and your family will stop in, meet your local Youth Services librarian, check out some books to share, and participate in storytime. With six branch locations throughout St. Johns County and two traveling Bookmobiles, SJCPLS is never far away and has something for everyone! 

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System