“Local Businesses Supporting Literacy” is the focus of a newly launched reading program in Hillsboro.
Local Lit is an incentive-based reading program, open to children in grades prekindergarten-5, both at Hillsboro Elementary School and those that are homeschooled. The program began Oct. 12 and will run through March 31, 2016.
Love of reading is one of the single most important things parents can nourish within their children to grow their vocabulary, create a strong family bond, and help them succeed in school and life. City businesses understand this and are willing to help encourage youth to become strong readers in the best way possible-by reading more.
The Local Lit program is tailored for readers at each grade level, with attainable goals set by teachers. After completing the monthly reading sheet and returning it to his/her teacher (or to the Hillsboro Public Library), children will receive a Local Lit Coupon that is valid at Hillsboro Brewing Company, Barbie’s Kitchen, Hotel Hillsboro, Hillsboro County Market, or Whitaker’s Farm Fresh Market. There is no purchase necessary for children to receive any of the reading rewards at these businesses; however, they must present their Local Lit Coupon. Coupons will expire 30 days from the date they are issued.
In addition to completing the recommended reading for each month, there is a section of “bonus books” on the child’s reading sheet. Completing this extra reading will not only help children feed their need to read, but their name will go in a monthly drawing to receive a Scholastic gift card courtesy of Hillsboro Equipment, Inc.
“To help you with your monthly reading, ask for a ‘Restaurant Reader’ when you are eating at Barbie’s Kitchen, Beezer’s, or Hillsboro Brewing Company,” said Jacqui Davison of Hillsboro CARES (Community Advocates for Reading Enrichment and Success). “You can read a book while you wait for your meal. Books read at home, at school, by taking turns reading out loud with a sibling or friend, or having a grandparent read aloud all contribute to the monthly total. So grandparents, daycare providers, parents-open a book when that child comes home from school and start a new routine of reading aloud while they eat their snacks.”
Reading aloud is an activity children of all ages can enjoy, It grows their vocabulary, their knowledge, and increases their love of learning. Fifteen minutes a day of reading together can make a world of difference in children’s lives.
Because of the Oct. 12 start date for Local Lit, Hillsboro CARES will look for sheets to only be half-filled by Oct. 31.
This program is a partnership between Hillsboro CARES and the aforementioned local businesses. The primary goal of Hillsboro CARES is to make reading a more community-driven activity.
“By encouraging reading in unexpected places in Hillsboro; we are therefore showing our youth that it is viewed as an important activity by all-not just their teachers and parents. Together we can raise a community of readers and help this next generation to be successful,” said Davison.