News: Neillsville – Books Before Kindergarten Prepares Kids (Feb 2019)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Wegner, Mohr

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 2/13/2019

Neillsville – 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Prepares Kids for Success (2019)

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Prepares Kids for Success

By Valorie Brecht

Families are invited to join in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (1.000 BBK) program at the Neillsville Public Library. The 1,000 BBK program is a nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children.

By reading just one book a night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide their children essential early literacy skills. Parents log the books read. Books may be repeated.

“Research shows that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood,” a press release from the library stated. “Reading to children from an early age can help close the vocabulary gap and prepare children to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Most importantly, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading.”

Neillsville Public Library children’s librarian Kathy Wegner agreed that fostering a love of reading from an early age helps children continue reading as they get older.

The 1,000 BBK program is available to families with children between the ages of birth and five years. Registration is open. Families may stop in the library to register and pick up a free tote bag and log sheets to record the books read. There is also an app available to record books read. Prizes will be awarded to children upon completion of the program.

Wegner said she could see numerous benefits to reading to children at an early age.

“It helps develop pre-reading skills,” she said. “It can help kids with letter sounds and developing a bigger vocabulary. It can help with speech, so they connect what’s written to what’s being said.”

Neillsville kindergarten teacher Deb Mohr agreed that reading to young children before they enter school makes a huge difference.

“You can really tell [which students have been read to prior to entering kindergarten],” she said. “Their language skills, social skills and literacy skills are all heightened. You can sure tell just by their language that the parents read to them. Their vocabulary is broadened.”

Mohr also said that reading to children provides the building blocks for them to eventually read on their own.

“They learn how to read a book – to go from left to right and to turn the pages,” she explained.

Even just having a child page through a book and come with his or her own story to go with the pictures is a good activity, said Mohr.

Mohr said reading to children piques their curiosity and causes them to ask questions. It helps them use their imagination and creativity to envision other worlds.

“With so much technology nowadays, reading is a great activity for parents and child ren to spend time together,” she said. “Reading to a child bonds the parent and child together. Relax with your child and read.”

For more information on 1,000 BBK call the library at 715.743.2558 or visit



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