Lucy Farrow, four, with her mother Heidi Coneally and Eleanor Farrow, seven months, behind her.
by T. Q. Jones
Lucy Farrow won’t be five until October and can’t really read yet, but she joined the Summer Reading Program at the Will Hampton Oak Hill branch library and her mother, Heidi Connealy, read over a hundred books to her over the course of the summer.
One of the program coordinators, Heather Valdez, pointed out that more than 1,400 kids had signed up for the program and read more than 3,000 books in hopes of winning prizes including books they could take home and keep; reading books to earn more books.
“Being a good reader,” Library Director Frank Schmitzer says, “is one of the best indicators of later success in school and life, but not everyone has the chance to develop those skills at home.”
Coneally thinks it’s perfectly natural that her kids read, or want to. Her mother was a reader and both she and her husband are readers. Still, she looked for a preschool that reads to kids so they will reinforce the desire to read.
“Not everyone has parents who can set a good reading example,” Schmitzer says, “so the kids aren’t motivated by a role model to read and improve their reading ability. That’s why we’re excited not only by the number of kids who signed up for the program, but by how many books they actually read.”