Lapsit program gets babies into reading
Glenwood Springs, CO ColoradoThe Garfield County Library District has recently added to its repertoire of children’s programming with something brand new: Infant/Toddler Lapsit Story Time. This program is targeted toward parents or caregivers and babies from birth to 24 months old, and it aims to introduce these very young children to language and learning with rhymes, songs and stories. It also provides an opportunity for parents and caregivers to connect with one another. Since its debut at the Gordon Cooper Branch in Carbondale in January, Lapsit has consistently drawn a crowd, but there’s always room for more.While it may seem that programming for infants might be a little premature, the rationale behind this program is well-grounded in recent research about the importance of early exposure to language and literature. Even before babies can talk, they are absorbing the sights and sounds of the world around them. Research on emergent literacy has shown there is a positive correlation between exposure to books and language during the first five years of a child’s life and future scholastic success. Exposure to language through stories and songs in a relaxed and fun environment such as Lapsit Story Time helps young children develop pre-literacy skills – the information about reading and language that children need to understand before they learn to read. Lapsit can help the littlest learners develop phonologic awareness – or the ability to understand that sounds make words, followed by basic vocabulary, the ability to describe things and events, and eventually print awareness and letter knowledge. Lapsit can help cultivate a child’s desire to read, and research shows that children who have an interest in books and reading tend to become better readers. Lapsit Story Time generally lasts about 30 minutes, which includes 15 minutes of structured activities, followed by exploratory play and social interaction. Because this program is geared specifically toward children 2 years and younger, other arrangements should be made for older children during this program. Melissa Hisel is a library assistant at the Gordon Cooper Branch Library in Carbondale.
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