Catawba County News

March is National Reading Month

March is National Reading Month

Published: March 03, 2022

March is National Reading Month, for all ages, and we’re taking this opportunity to highlight a cornerstone of the library’s mission, early childhood literacy. Recent studies indicate that now more than ever, we need to redouble our focus on early learning development for our youngest community members.

A baby’s brain is built, not born - the first 2000 days of a child’s life is a critical period in brain development, a child’s earliest experiences shape their brain’s architecture, affecting how biological systems develop and impacting their cognitive, social and emotional skills for the rest of their life. As their first teachers, parents, grandparents, childcare providers, and preschool teachers can use five simple Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) practices—talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing—to develop language and pre-reading skills in children from birth to age five. The libraries’ ECRR-focused storytimes, whether in the library, virtually, or through outreach, encourage fun in learning and provide examples for caregivers on how to nurture pre-reading skills at home. Through this program, we are also able to offer a monthly activity calendar of talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing for you to share with your child.

“Children are a product of their environment. The more that we can stimulate them and play with them and read to them and love them — that’s what it’s going to take.” -Sean Deoni, PhD

Families are invited to participate in the library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program that encourages families to read together. This simple program (read a book, any book to your child, with the goal of reading 1,000 before kindergarten), celebrates each 100 books read with a prize from the library! We can also connect families with children under five to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, sponsored by the Catawba County Partnership for Children, ensuring every child has access to books regardless of income. Each month, Imagination Library mails a high quality, age appropriate book to all registered children, addressed to them, at no cost to the child’s family.

The library will be hosting several special storytimes at the library, Town of Catawba, CleanWave Laundry, and the St. Stephens Park! We also have special visitors, Elephant & Piggie, coming to the library! They are in town for the Hickory Museum of Art’s Elephant & Piggie in “WE ARE ART!” - A Mo Willems Exhibition. We can’t wait to see you at one of these events!

With all of these great early literacy resources available, don’t forget to join us in celebration of the addition of the Family Literacy Center* at CleanWave Laundry in Long View on March 20th from 2 pm- 5 pm! The Library to Go will be set up for their monthly Suds & Stories visit. Stop by to check out books, enjoy crafts and activities, and experience the new literacy space!

This space will be designed to encourage parents and caregivers to practice the 5 key principles of the Every Child Ready to Read program with resources to prompt singing, talking, reading, writing and playing. The space will include a child-size reading bench with book bins, a reading carpet, a magnetic whiteboard with gears and letters, a pretend play washer/dryer, and interactive learning toys. Through community partnerships, the library is able to share early literacy tools, storytimes, and collaborative programs outside of the library, and the Family Literacy Center at CleanWave is a great example of what looks like!

*Purchased with grant funds from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the State Library of North Carolina, (LS-249980-OLS-21).

Every child is born to read.

Together, we can help them


For more information about March’s programs, please visit or your library.