ASHVILLE —When a child gets that first library card, it is an important milestone on a lifelong journey of reading.
Throughout the summer, Teays Valley Local School District has been proudly posting photos to social media featuring students who have signed up for their first library card and others who are checking out books. And kids get their picture taken with the school’s famous mascot Victor Viking!
“Instilling a love of reading in our students is a key component of our students’ education,” Teays Valley Local School’s Director of Communications Julie DeLisio said. “One way we tried to spark interest over the summer is by encouraging students to pick out library books and stop to snap a picture with Victor Viking at two local libraries. We are thrilled at the response we got from our students and parents and we have loved seeing so many of our Viking students pick out books to read throughout the summer. We know this will set them up for success as we approach another school year.”
According to research by Hart, B. and Risley, T. (2016). The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3, developing literacy begins at birth. By the age of three, a child’s brain is already 80% developed, and, by the time a child enters kindergarten, they must already know thousands of words in order to succeed in the classroom, the study reports.
According to Ohio State University, young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a recent study found.
Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of educational studies at OSU said that the “million word gap” could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development, according to an article published by OSU’s College of Education and Human Ecology.
DeLisio said Teays Valley’s program encourages reading and parents love it.
“We have heard from multiple parents that students signed up for their first library cards because they were excited to go to the library to get their picture taken with Victor Viking,” she said. “We are excited that this social media campaign has resulted in students making their first trip to the local libraries. There is no doubt that when students continue to read throughout the summer, especially books that they had ownership in choosing, they will return to school better prepared and with a renewed interest in reading.”