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Parental Involvement Encouraged At “Books for Kids Community Day”

By Pamela Rouse
Published: Friday, October 22, 2010, at 01:14PM
Bundles of Books volunteer Todd Harman Pamela Rouse [Flickr]

A Para Los Ninos parent receives a backpack with books and a "Books for Kids Day" parent training guide from Bundle of Books volunteer Todd Harman.

Last weekend, around 500 children and their parents attended “Books for Kids Community Day” at the Para Los Ninos Learning Center. Wells Fargo and the non-profit Bundle of Books teamed up to put together the event to promote family literacy by providing children with backpacks and books, and parents with lessons on encouraging their kids to read.

During 30 minute sessions held through the day, teachers and child development professionals discussed with parents various ways to bring reading into the daily routine.

Starting as young as infants, for example, children can be taught to recognize objects or the words that go with them just going about daily tasks. As the kids grow, parents can tell stories to their children, read as a family whenever there is free time, and take trips to the library.

Charmaine Alvarado, Director of Bundles of Books was on hand to help coordinate the efforts of her organization. “We’re trying to create a love of books,” she said.

Her Southern California based non-profit started in 2007 to provides books and resources for literacy programs world-wide in more impoverished communities. With a $10,000 Foundation Grant from Wells Fargo, they were able to purchase backpacks and books for the Saturday event.

“We try to select titles that lend themselves a little bit better to read aloud, or just good literature for kids,” she said.

“To be able to not only provide the training for parents, but then to send them home with ‘bundles of books,’ literally, is really nice,” said Para Los Ninos principal Judy Perlmutter. “So much of the literacy learning really comes from the parents in the home,” saying the event helps them “acquire the skills and strategies to really bring it alive.”

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