We have photos of my husband reading Jasper his very first book, days after he was born. In addition, Jasper was the Very Hungry Caterpillar for his first Halloween! Books are extremely important in our family. My husband and I both harbor a love for reading and, at two-years-old, we have successfully passed that love onto Jasper. Jasper can sit quietly in his room for over an hour looking at his books. He loves to see the pictures as much as he loves being read to.
We read to Jasper each afternoon before nap time and each evening before bed. We go to the Hike it Baby Reflections Lake hike pretty regularly and Jasper really enjoys the story time there. Sometimes we go to the story time at the local library. Jasper Skypes with his grandma Barb around once a week. At which time he convinces her to read at least three books, usually all about Thomas the Train. Jasper looks at books while in the car and he often spends time looking at books on his own. While reading to Jasper, he likes to point out the letters he knows and show me every italicized word. We are currently reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Were you aware that every spell in the Harry Potter books is italicized?
The Anchorage Library System offers the 1000 books before kindergarten program. We started this program shortly after we moved to Alaska in 2017. The goal of the program is to read your child 1000 books before they enter kindergarten. Over the weekend we hit the 1000 books read mark! When Jasper next brings his sheet into the library he will be awarded a new book for his efforts!
To download your first Anchorage Public Library 1000 Books before Kindergarten reading log visit: http://www.anchoragelibrary.org!
I truly believe that reading is a great way to broaden horizons, in addition to being a great way to learn about new concepts and ideas. However, research shows even more benefits! Reading to children has been shown to improve vocabulary skills, help lengthen their attention span, teach empathy, and strengthen the child-parent relationship.
Shortly after Jasper was born I became aware of the Imagination Library. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides free books to children under the age of five! However, this program is not offered in all areas. Where we use to live in Illinois is not one of the communities where the program is offered. However, the program is offered in our area of Alaska!
The Imagination Library began in 1995 in Sevier County, Tennessee, but quickly spread. In the first eight years, the Imagination library sent out over a million books! Now, in 2017 alone, 13.1 million books were circulated by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The program can now be found in many areas of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia! In addition to providing free books to over a million children, the Imagination Library has worked produce braille and audio versions of a number of the books in their program!
Last weekend the Anchorage Imagination Library hosted an event at the Campbell Creek Science Center. I have passed by Campbell Track many times, but hadn’t made it over there to investigate. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to check it out!
I normally avoid going on outings on the weekend. There are so many people out. However, fun events like this are only ever held on weekends. The event was packed, but I was happy to see so many children being brought up to appreciate the value of books! We participated in the book swap, listened to story time, created an owl craft, played games, and went on a story walk! Jasper’s favorite part was the bean bag toss game. I enjoyed the story walk the best, and my husband seemed most interested in the book swap.
To find out more about the Dolly Patron Imagination Library and to see if your child qualifies for free books, check out their website at: https://imaginationlibrary.com/!
There are so many great weekly story times that children can attend in the Anchorage area, in addition to so many events that offer story times. We join the Hike it Baby Reflections Lake hike almost every week. This hike is held weekly, year round. At about the halfway point all the hikers take a snack break and we have a story time. Jasper LOVES this. He usually asks to look at the book after it is done being read and he almost always asks for a second book to be read. We have also attended the toddler story time at our local library. Anchorage Library System offers story times at many of their libraries. The Alaska Zoo offers a story time on Wednesday mornings. Barnes and Nobel in Anchorage has children’s story time every Saturday at 11:00am. In addition Bells Nursery offers story time during the school year! Do you know of any other story times in the Anchorage or Mat-Su Valley area? Share them with me in the comments!
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