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Libraries open 1,000 Books challenge to young kids

Backpacks containing 10 books are available for checkout at the Keach Family Library in Robstown as part of the Nueces County Public Libraries’ 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative. Courtesy photo

Public libraries in Nueces County are challenging young children to read 1,000 books before they begin kindergarten. The initiative is made possible though $10,000 in funding from the Texas Reads Grant, a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The county library system’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten plan began on Jan. 11, when it made books available to children at the Keach Family Library in Robstown. The Robstown facility has 100 backpacks, each holding 10 books, available to check out. Children who check out 100 backpacks will have met the 1,000-book reading goal.

To track a child’s reading progress, caregivers can register online to receive a tote bag with educational materials and quarterly emails that include book lists and reading tips.

A goal of 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is “to help young children develop positive attachments to reading and gain the confidence they need to become strong readers,” said Nueces County Library Director Ida Garza.

According to the Corpus Christi Literacy Council’s website, the functional illiteracy rate in Nueces County is 17 percent.

chuck@thepicayune.com

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