Programs we support
Understanding that the time to start reading to children is in infancy, pediatricians and healthcare providers incorporate books and reading into well baby checkups for children from birth to five years old. During the check up, health-care providers give parents concrete, developmentally appropriate advice about reading, as well as use books as an assessment tool in determining the child's development. At the end of each visit, the child is given an age and language appropriate book.
The Reach Out and Read program model is based on research that shows a connection between the frequency of sharing books with babies, toddlers and young children and enhanced language development. Research also shows that preschoolers need 1000 hours of contact time with literacy activities to be ready for kindergarten. By distributing books through local pediatric offices, Reach Out and Read reaches children (and their parents) earlier than most other reading programs, with dramatic results.
This popular program is growing. Since its inception, the program has grown from 2 points of distribution and 2,671 books in 2000 to 15 points of distribution and more than 200,000 books to date.
The Solano County Library Foundation's Solano County Literacy in Education Partnership (LEARN) celebrated its public launch October 21, 2011, with dozens of local civic and business leaders. The goal of LEARN is to assist Solano County in significantly reducing school dropout rates and to improve workforce opportunities for adults by providing online tutoring and training. "For the Library, this partnership is the beginning of a new network of outreach opportunities; the Library is positioned to be at the heart of the solution to significant problems that Solano County students face," said Library Director Bonnie Katz.
The LEARN program will help narrow the digital divide and extend opportunity to thousands of residents of Solano County by providing access to a number of online resources. Online tutoring services will be available for students, as will technical training and job assistance for adults.
The partnership has a three prong approach. Solano County Library will provide free online tutors and job assistance through two services available from its website, Live Homework Help and Live Career Help. After-school homework programs such as those at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Vacaville and Vallejo, Vallejo's Fighting Back Partnership, and the P.A.L. program in Vacaville will work with librarians to expose their students to the breadth of educational resources offered by the Library.
Comcast's Internet Essentials will offer low-income families an Internet connection for $9.95 a month and computers for $150.
"I was impressed with the diversity of key community stakeholders who participated in the event," said Sandy Person. "We've got to start taking steps to address the issues much sooner if we are serious about making an impact on illiteracy."
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Solano County Library Foundation supports Solano County Library implementation of this countywide reading program that seeks to motivate children to read and experience a book together. It gives students in grades 4-8 in all the schools in the Solano County Library cities (Fairfield, Suisun, Rio Vista, Vacaville and Vallejo) a chance to receive free books and experience a talk by the book's authors at several libraries close to the participating schools.