Free children’s books Friday at First 5

Reading, talking, and playing with your child is key to school success. That is why First 5 Madera County is sponsoring the “Growing Family Libraries” program to help families engage in early literacy experiences at home.

In partnership with Schwabe Books, First 5 Madera has invested $10,000 to hold the “Growing Family Libraries” events in Oakhurst, Chowchilla, and Madera.

The funding provides $50 vouchers to each family who is registered for the event to purchase books on-site for children 0-5 years, and a free parent workshop for the families.

The workshop will educate parents on how to engage with their children while reading to ensure that it is a fun learning experience.

The event in Oakhurst will be held 9 - 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 20, at the First 5 Family Resource Center, 49169 Crane Valley Road (426), adjacent to the Sierra Star.

“The Growing Family Libraries” program demonstrates to parents and children that reading is important. Regular book-sharing time provides a context for parents to introduce new words by labeling objects. It also provides for parent-child discussions about book content and allows the children to practice new words that express ideas. Further, regular library visits and books in the home can raise children’s interest in the written words.

Research shows that a child’s brain develops most dramatically in the first five years of life and what parents and caregivers do during these years to support their child’s growth will have a meaningful impact throughout life.

Based in this research, California voters passed Proposition 10 in 1998, adding a 50 cents-per-pack tax on cigarettes to support programs for expectant parents and children ages 0 to 5.

Details: (559) 661-5155.