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November is National Family Literacy Month

November is National Family Literacy Month and what better time to reinforce the importance of reading to children from a young age.  This month is all about families getting together and embracing the love of reading.  In recognition, organizations across the country are encouraged to emphasize the important role that families play in instilling a love of reading in their children and to foster learning and development through books.  Many libraries, schools, child development centers and the like have special programming and activities with the aim of getting families reading together. As the local affiliate for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (DPIL), BEGIN WITH BOOKS (BWB) is proud to partner with many of these organizations in Charleston County.  BWB is committed to addressing family literacy through community outreach by providing books and inspiring educators and caregivers in the community to spend more time reading to children in their care.  Since 2017, BWB has deliv
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The Imagination Library Garners Another Prestigious Award -

Library of Congress Acknowledges  Outstanding Contribution to Promoting Literacy --  "Literacy develops the mind and the heart, engages the intellect and imagination, and builds wide-ranging knowledge of the world." -- Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden In our previous post , we highlighted the quality of  Dolly Parton's Imagination Library's (DPIL) book selection process. So, it seemed fitting to follow-up with none other than the Library of Congress' seal of approval.  Over the years, DPIL has received a long list of awards and acknowledgements, and last month, it added yet another.  On International Literacy Day, September 8, 2021, DPIL won the top prize in the prestigious Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program.   DPIL was awarded The David M. Rubenstein Prize , worth $150,000 . The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program Since 2013, The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program has been honoring non-profit organizations for outstanding contributio

Selection with Intention:

Thought and Deliberation Go into Each and Every Book Selection --   BEGIN WITH BOOKS (BWB) is pleased to have two new books in its rotation and on bookshelves in the month of September: Baby Builders , by Elissa Haden Guest, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, for children turning three, and Brick by Brick , by Heidi Woodward Sheffield, for children turning four. Hundreds of potential titles are reviewed every year for inclusion in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (DPIL).  Let's explore why these two books in particular may have been chosen. The Book Selection Process A tremendous amount of thought and deliberation goes into each and every book selection.  The Blue Ribbon Book Selection Committee , DPIL's panel of early childhood literacy experts, convenes annually to review and select books for the following program year.  This diverse group of experts is made up of  teachers, librarians, authors, and early childhood educators.  The richness of their backgrounds ensures that

Reading Aloud Gives the Gift of Self-Regulation

The Imagination Library and BEGIN WITH BOOKS encourage parents to read aloud 15 minutes every day. These 15 minutes could be one of the greatest gifts you give your child. Reading aloud promotes language development and builds the skills needed to learn to read and arrive in kindergarten ready to learn.  But that’s not all.  By establishing a regular reading habit, you are also building your child’s emotional resilience and giving them the gift of self-regulation. What do we mean by self-regulation? Self-regulation is the ability to manage our emotions and deal with life’s challenges in healthy and predictable ways.  We develop self-regulation skills through the build ing   of the neura l pathways that make up our stress-response system.  Children who grow up in stable households, with loving and attentive caregivers, have an easier time regulating their emotions.  This, in turn, makes it easier for them to make new friends and get along with others in school and other social settin

Dialogic Reading - The Fun and Easy Way to Read to Your Child

Are you reading regularly to your little one?  If yes, keep it up!  You are preparing your child for life-long success.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends reading aloud to children for at least 15 minutes a day beginning in infancy.  Those 15 minutes spent reading together can be the best part of the day for both of you.  According to the AAP, children who are read to during infancy and preschool have better language skills and are more interested in reading when they start school.  What's more, sharing a book helps kids and parents create a closer bond which is so important for cognitive and social-emotional development. Reading to a child doesn't always come naturally Even though educators and children's advocates have long beaten the drum about the importance of reading to children, it doesn't always come naturally to parents.  They may have negative associations around reading and books from their own childhood, or school experience, or be uncomfor