Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Power of Words

The biggest difference between the have and have nots in this world isn't just family income, it's also vocabulary. Studies at the University of Kansas found that at age 6, children from professional families have a 20,000 word vocabulary while their peers from families on welfare know about 3,000 words. This gap in understanding language leads to a learning gap between the rich and poor. Demand for early childhood education is soaring and there aren't enough spots in most programs to serve every at risk child. According to there are 318, 795 children under the age of 6 in Utah, of those children  12% or 38,053 of them live at or below the national poverty level due to low parental education or unemployment.

The library can help. Free and very low cost early childhood education is one of our specialites. Talking with children and using books comes naturally in a library story time setting. Low income parents may not realize the importance of talking, singing and reading to infants and toddlers, whose brains are wired to learn language. Young children will need to hear a word 9 to 14 times before they know it.

Watch for our Story time classes for Toddlers and Preschoolers coming in September. With books, stories, fingerplays, songs, games, open ended questions, poetry and plenty of fun we can immerse your child in the world of words and close the gap.

Children's Librarian

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