Harlingen library launches book program for toddlers and preschoolers

HARLINGEN — Whether it be books, magazines, comics or e-books, many local parents have taken on the challenge to help their children read 1,000 of them before kindergarten.

The Harlingen Public Library recently launched its new 1,000 Books before Kindergarten program and is seeking participants.

The toddler/preschool reading program is designed to help parents and caregivers in Harlingen and surrounding areas prepare their children for a lifelong love of reading.

“It’s a program that parents can carry out at home and we’re here to support them with initiatives and rewards for their children,” said youth services librarian Christine Newman.

Parents can sign up their children ages 1 through 6 during library hours.

According to Newman, participating children will receive an incentive and a reading log when they read 200, 600 and 800 books.

The biggest incentive will be given when the toddlers and preschoolers reach their 1,000th book.

Newman believes the program would create opportunities for bonding and memory making for parents and their children.

“There is value in just holding a book and having your child sit on your lap, and interacting with your child really increases that bond,” Newman said. “If a parent picks up a book, it’s not boring. You can make funny sounds and really laugh with your child.”

As of Thursday, 10 families had signed up for the program.

“We believe parents and caregivers are their children’s first teacher,” Newman said. “So, initiating this program at home will help children develop language skills and start them on the path to success in reading and learning.”

MORE INFORMATION

WHAT — 1,000 Books before Kindergarten program

WHO — Harlingen Public Library, 410 76 Drive

OPEN — Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information, call Youth Services Department at (956) 216-5819 or email youth@harlingenlibrary.com.