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Help your children prepare for kindergarten by reading

By Jennifer Nicholson

Rowan Public Library

This month Rowan-Salisbury School System started kindergarten registration. For many parents this is a daunting and exciting time as many parents worry if their child is kindergarten ready, not only academically, but emotionally and physically, as well.

I, too, am there with my own child as I prepare for my child to start kindergarten in August. Yet, Rowan Public Library and the school system can provide parents many great resources as kindergarten approaches.

RSS has created a helpful bingo card that serves as a great checklist of concepts that rising kindergarteners should master before starting kindergarten. Identifying patterns, knowing one’s own address, knowing how to spell and write one’s name, using scissors and counting to 20 are just a few important concepts that will help rising kindergarteners succeed as they head off to school.

The “Get Ready for Kindergarten” bingo card is just a guide to help parents feel more confident in their kindergartener, is completely free, and can be picked up at any branch of the Rowan Public Library.

For parents on the go, there is Ready Rosie, which is free to anyone living in a Rowan County, with a Rowan County zip code, and is sponsored by the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Parents can sign up to receive either a text message, email or can use the app which provides parents helpful tips of how to build learning at home.

The Ready Rosie website provides parents an assorted library of tips that can be filtered to match any child’s age, subject and concept skill they are learning. Tips are also available in both English and Spanish. Anyone interested in the app can visit the app store for their device, and download the Ready Rosie app; or visit https://readyrosie.com/register/.

Rowan Public Library also offers parents many books including “What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Read-Alouds to Get Ready for Kindergarten,” by E.D. Hirsch Jr. Hirsch’s book offers tips for parents, but more importantly poems, stories, songs, even history and science concepts that preschoolers should know. What makes this book unique is all the poems, stories and lessons are provided right in the book, making it easy for parents to pick up and go. Parents can use this book as supplement or as a bonus book during bedtime story time, or as a great tool before visiting museums or science centers.

One of the best and simplest ways to help your child succeed in kindergarten is by reading 15 minutes a day. For many families this can be a challenge with many having busy schedules of extra activities. However, reading 15 minutes a day can have a huge impact on a child’s vocabulary and knowledge, can strengthen bonds with parents and can help foster a love of learning.

While many parents may think that one has to read only picture books, Rowan Public Library also offers many great non-fiction books that are designed and written for preschoolers to help them learn about the world around them. Fifteen minutes a day does not mean a person has to read for 15 complete minutes. Parents can pick up a dinosaur book and explore the different types of dinosaurs or pick up a book about ballet and simply talk about what is happening in the pictures.

While reading picture books, simply talking about what is happening in books between characters can help children not only understand interactions, but also help develop empathy for others.

Some other tips to help with reading 15 minutes a day, are:

  • Get excited! If children see adults reading or love reading, they are more likely to pick up a book.
  • Be silly, it is OK to read with funny voices or accents. Be goofy, make them laugh.
  • Remember even children who are busy or wiggling are still listening and learning.
  • Listen to an audiobook in the car, children can still pick up vocabulary and pronunciation.
  • Keep practicing.

For more information or to visit a storytime for children, please visit your local Rowan Public Library, or by visiting www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

Chapter Chats Book Club: A weekly club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome. Meets Tuesdays at East branch meeting room, through May 23, 5 p.m. For more information, contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

Dr. Who’s Days: Travel through time and space with screenings of the classic BBC program, “Dr. Who.” Families are invited to attend. Headquarters, April 11, 4:30 p.m.

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join this board provide input on RPL’s teen programming and book selection and discuss current events and issues of interest. Members can count their hours of participation toward school community service requirements. East, April 10, 6:30 p.m.; South, April 6, 4:30 p.m.; Headquarters, March 28, April 25, 4:30 p.m.

Anime Club: Teens and college-age individuals (21 and under) are invited to watch anime and engage in Japanese-themed crafts and games. Headquarters, April 4, 4:30 p.m.

Lego free play: April 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., headquarters. The library’s Lego collection will be available for free play for children.

Book Bites Book Club: “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, South Rowan Regional, March 28,  6 pm. The book club is free and open to the public and includes refreshments loosely related to the theme. Call 704-216-7731 for more information.

Night at the Library: March 27-29 at East branch and South Regional, then March 31-April 1 at headquarters. Ever wonder what happens at the library at night? Does Pete the Cat sing loud and proud? Does the Cat in the Hat run amok? “Night in the Library” exposes the escapades that occur when patrons aren’t around.

You’re invited to leave a favorite stuffed animal to experience this overnight adventure. One animal per family with only 20 slots available per branch. Registration is required.

Drop off your favorite stuffed animal March 27-28 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. at East or South. Pick up your animal friend on March 29 at East or South, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Participants will receive their free pictures and souvenirs at a Special PJ Storytime on Tuesday, April 11 at East, at 6 p.m. Call 704-216-7842 to register and/or for more information.

Pictures, souvenirs and the PJ Storytime will be April 10 at South at 6 p.m. Call 704-216-7728 to register and/or for more information.

Drop off your animal on March 31 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at headquarters and pick it up April 1 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Pictures, souvenirs and PJ Storytime will be April 10 at 6:30 p.m. and headquarters. Call 704-216-8234 to register or for more information.

Learn.Act.Grow.: “Share That Story,” March 27, 5:30-7 p.m., South Rowan Regional. Ever considered publishing your memoirs or a novel? Local authors David Freeze, Jenny Hubbard and Doug Creamer host a discussion forum about the writing process, from drafting to publication, encouraging would-be published writers to “share that story.”

Movie matinee at East: “Toy Story,” March 27, 5:30 p.m., East branch. Meet Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of the toy room gang in this 1995, G-rated film. It has a runtime of 81 min. Light refreshments; free and open to the public. All ages welcome; however, an adult must accompany children under 9.

Downtown Beats, Rowan’s Impromptu Chorus: March 27, 6-7 p.m., Headquarters. Everyone is welcome. This community sing requires no experience and no commitment. No charge or prior registration is required. Arrive at 6 p.m. for a short practice of two songs. March’s sing culminates with a final performance of the night’s songs. Questions? Contact Abigail at Abigail.Hardison@rowancountync.gov or at 704-216-8248.

Friends of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series: Wayne Henderson, Clay Lunsford and Matthew Weaver, March 28, 7 p.m., headquarters. Americana music, gospel, country, bluegrass and Appalachian. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

No-School Cinema at South: March 31, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., South Regional. This Marvel Marathon features “Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Both films are rated PG-13 and have run times of, respectively, 142 min. and 141 min. “Avengers” begins at 11 a.m. and “Age of Ultron” at 2 p.m. Light refreshments; free, open to the public. All ages welcome; an adult must accompany children ages 13 and under.

No -School Cinema at East: March 31, 2 p.m. Danny DeVito voices the Lorax in “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.” This 2012, PG-rated film has a runtime of 86 min. Light refreshments; free, open to the public. All ages welcome; an adult must accompany children under 9.

RPL Annual spring Photowalk: April 8, 10:30 a.m.-noon, N.C. Transportation Museum, Spencer. Join us for a walk and bring your digital camera/phone to take photos together. Meeting at the museum. More details will be provided later . To reserve your spot, contact Paul at 704-216-8242 or Paul.Birkhead@rowancountync.gov

Displays: Headquarters, Rowan Doll Society and Salisbury Academy; East, celebrating Dr. Seuss; South, North Carolina pottery.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

Weekly events for children run through the week of April 28.

Baby Time: Infants to 23 months. A loosely interactive program introducing simple stories and songs to infants up to 23 months old with a parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Char’s Little Stars, Wednesday, 10 a.m.; East branch, Tammie’s Tiny Sprouts, Mondays, 10 a.m.; South Regional, Miss Pat’s Tiny Tots, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.

Toddler Time: 18 to 35 months. Focused on sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills with a parent or caregiver. 30 min. Headquarters, Reading Rumpus, Tuesdays, 10:30 .m.; East, Tammie’s Tot Time, Mondays, 11 a.m.; South, Miss Pat’s Wee Readers, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool Time: To encourage the exploration of books and build reading readiness skills for children 3 to 5 years old with a parent or caregiver. 30 minutes. Headquarters, East and South, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Noodlehead Story Time: Books and songs for all ages; primary focus is pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. 30-45 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; East, Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m.; South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Art programs: Activities and instruction based on various themes and media vary by branch. Appropriate for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Bethany’s Brushes, Tuesdays, 4 p.m.; South, Canvas Kids, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children 7 to 9 can practice their reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Dogs registered through Therapy Dogs International are available for beginning and struggling readers to read aloud to them. Reservations are recommended but not required. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, selected Mondays, 3:30 p.m.; South, selected Tuesdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.


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