Promoting reading in kids

April 7, 2008 4:14:36 PM PDT
It's a free program to encourage reading between parents and children.As Eyewitness News education reporter Art McFarland tells us, literacy is even being promoted in different languages.

At the Sunset Park branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, a parent and child workshop hears reading in English and in Spanish.

Based on the fact that the key to childhood literacy is reading to children when they are very young, this program is called, "Para Los Ninos," or "For the children."

With the program, the library wants not only to create lifelong readers among the children, the idea is also to empower the parents to become part of their child's education.

The need to do the program in Spanish and English speaks to the 20 percent of Brooklyn residents who officials say speak Spanish at home.

This day's workshop was about promoting self-esteem. The parents traced outlines of their children, and then wrote positive words that describe each child inside the outline.

"Parents really must be a partner with our educators to make sure children are successful," library executive director Dionne Mack-Harvey said. "And our goal is to make sure that we can help parents have those skills and the confidence to be able to do so at home."

Officials say the library's budget has been increased to accommodate more multi-lingual programs.