COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Reading can open many doors for young people: from exploring the world through textbooks to finding new worlds through fiction, to feeling human connection through poetry.
Samantha Emerine with Family Inc.'s Raise Me to Read Program says most children are laying the groundwork for this vital skill in just a few years.
“Our goal is to have every child in Pottawattamie County be proficient in reading by third grade," Emerine said.
In Pottawattamie County, an estimated 30% of third-grade students are not reading on their grade level according to the Raise Me to Read.
The program is working on laying the groundwork for reading early, partnering with the local libraries for an initiative called Baby Reads.
“It lets any new parent up until the child is one year in age to sign their baby up for a library card," Emerine said.
Baby Reads also offers resources and allows the parents a one-time chance to have any fees waived, making sure there are no barriers to reading.
Raise Me to Read is also working with local healthcare workers at the Children’s clinics to meet their literacy goals.
“The pediatrician gives them a book and they tell them kind of the importance in reading, they give parents tips and tricks," Emerine said. "And it helps the child A: build their home library and B: get that connection from a trusted adult.”
Through the help of the community, they’re hoping to raise a county full of lifetime readers.
Visit this website to learn more about Raise Me to Read.