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Cultivating a love for reading, D11 gives kids across El Paso County an edge

The Big Kid Book Club is based on helping children prepare them for preschool and kindergarten.
Posted at 8:54 AM, Sep 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-06 10:54:04-04

Parents hear all the time that it is important to read to kids. The benefits of reading together go far beyond learning to read. Exposure to words stimulates the imagination and expands vocabulary. Numerous studies over the years show that reading boosts a person's memory and concentration.

District 11 is helping kids develop that love for reading from day one with their Big Kid Book Club. The district periodically sends your child a free book in the mail along with helpful advice for parents of 2 to 5-year-olds.

“We send them books they love, addressed directly to them. It just introduces that love for kids at a young age," said Devra Ashby, the District 11 Chief Communication Officer.

You do not need to live within District 11 to participate. All children between the ages of 2 and 5, who are not yet attending kindergarten, are eligible to join the Big Kid Book Club.

"Our goal is to increase literacy across the board," said Ashby, “because we know that if they know their letters and they’re beginning to read when they hit kindergarten that their success long-term in K-12 is going to be great.”

Nearly one thousand families take part, but sponsorship is needed to keep the program growing. Kids who are read to in the first five years of life have a 1.4 million word advantage over those who are not read to at home, according to the National Institute of Health.

Those not reading by third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school. One thing proven to help is age-appropriate books in the home.

District 11 is adding another book in their arsenal with theBig Kids Book Club, to keep reading and develop that love for reading.

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