It's the final day of KSBY's "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign that is raising money for brand new books for the students at Arellanes Elementary School. So far, the campaign has raised nearly $11,000 and KSBY could not be more appreciative of those who've donated so far. To donate, visit KSBY.com/GiveaBook.
As the campaign wraps up, Shannon Pimentel with Raising a Reader San Luis Obispo County shares important tips on why it's so important to introduce reading to children at such a young age.
"The age of zero to five is so important," Pimentel said. "Ninety percent of brain growth is happening during this time."
Raising a Reader is part of First 5 California, which focuses on encouraging parents to talk, read, and sing to their children to promote early childhood development.
"Raising a Reader is a program that serves families ages zero to five so support early reading and support regular reading routines at home," Pimentel said.
Part of her job includes getting books into the hands of parents and caregivers so they can read to and with their child from a young age.
"Learning isn't about reading word for word, but it's about asking open-ended questions," Pimentel said. "I call it book cuddling so kids are getting a sense of, 'when I'm reading with my caregiver, I feel safe, I feel loved, I feel heard.'"
Families who enroll in the program can come to campuses like Oceano Elementary School every week to get a book bag filled with new stories.
"It's just building that bonding of reading and building that bond of parents and kids over books," Pimentel said.
Plus, Rachelle Gonzales, a third-grade teacher at Oceano Elementary School, says it gives students the opportunity to explore new places.
"When you're reading a book, you can learn things about the zoo, or the aquarium where they don't have the chance to go," Gonzales said.
It's never too late to start reading to your little one.
"When they're newborns, yeah they might not understand what you're doing, but you're exposing them to reading and literature which is super important to do for a child," Gonzales said.
Plus, Pimentel says creating that routine of reading together at home can create good habits that will transfer to the classroom.
"In the future, the kids are able to go into a classroom, they're able to listen, they're able to process, they're able to focus," Pimentel said.
For details on how to enroll in the Raising a Reader program, click here.