Parents who have ever had a problem trying to get their kids to read more will be interested in a new program for kindergarten students at Jackson Elementary School in Myerstown.

The program is called “Raising a Reader” (RAR) and is being offered to the students by the Myerstown Community Library, with funding through a grant from United Way of Lebanon County.

RAR is a national nonprofit organization that offers a program designed to promote family involvement in daily reading with children up to age eight, a focus said to result in improved reading and literacy skills in youngsters. RAR also encourages healthy family relationships while developing that love for reading critical to success in school.

Here’s how it works: Every Monday, the kindergarten students receive a red book bag containing two to three books from a list given to parents at the start of the program. Parents/guardians are encouraged to read with their children each evening and return the bag of books on Friday. A new bag of books will be distributed the following week. This will help students get into the habit of reading and borrowing and sharing books—what the library is all about.

Some of the titles include: “Possum Magic,” “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” “The Dot,” “Frankie Stein,” and “Koala Lou”. How about “The Circus Ship,” “Henny Penny,” or “What’s New At The Zoo”?

There will also be four special theme nights during the program where parents can sign up for library cards and receive refresher read-aloud training. There will be activities for the kids and a school representative or Myerstown Community Library Board member will read aloud. Theme nights are based on subjects being taught in the classroom.

Dates for the theme nights are:

  • November 19, 2019 at Jackson Elementary, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • January 14, 2020 at Myerstown Community Library, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • March 17, 2020 at Jackson Elementary, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • May 12, 2020 at Myerstown Community Library, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

At the end of the school year in May, there will be a wrap up party at the Myerstown library. Students will receive a completion certificate and a book bag with reading material to take home for the summer. The children will also be able to register for their own library card. The Myerstown Community Library offers a variety of programs to encourage reading, especially during the summer when school is not in session.

Here’s testimonial from a parent who participated with their child in the RAR program when it was held in Kern County, CA:

“The program has helped my son get more excited about learning to read and we find him in his bedroom reading through the books on his own now. Not only that, but it gives us something to look forward to each night as we get to read together before bed time. And, when he sees books he’s taken home before, he still gets excited because he remembers the story.”

The Myerstown Community Library is located a 199 N. College Street in Myerstown. For more information, you can reach the library by calling (717) 866-2800 or visiting them online here.

For more info about the Raising A Reader program, check out their website here.


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