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Free Bookmobile Joins Innovative iRead Program with Community Foundation Grant Win
Written by admin, December 15th, 2016   


Education is the bedrock for addressing disparities in our community; it is a human right and essential to ensuring that all children meet their greatest potential. Yet kids growing up in low-income families are exposed to less verbally rich home environments and are less likely to attend preschool, creating a ‘word gap’ of millions of words between them and their more affluent peers before they’ve even entered kindergarten.

Significant research shows that reading aloud to children from day one is the single most important thing a parent can do to help a child enter kindergarten ready to succeed. In Sonoma County, however, only 57% of parents read to their children every day. It’s critical that we equip parents with the knowledge and tools they need to be effective role models and teachers, and remove the obstacles—real or perceived—to engaging their children in reading. Fortunately Community Foundation of Sonoma County, in partnership with Cradle to Career, has launched a funding program for just this purpose.

The Free Bookmobile has won a grant to join the iRead initiative that will allow us to increase our outreach to key demographics of parents with young children in 2017, to supply them with the high quality books that will facilitate this loving and educational activity. Our new routes will include visits to all of the local AVANCE parenting classes and Pasitos playgroups so that primarily Spanish-speaking households are not left behind. That means part of the funding will increase our collection of Spanish-language and bilingual books for distribution. It doesn’t matter what you read or in which language, only that you DO read to your child, every day!

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