Broadway resident Jill Snider (left) created a membership drive for young patrons at the Village Library for her final project in the James Madison University Masters of Reading Education program. Here she is with librarian Barbara Andes and bookworms Natalie Flora (from left), Eli Campbell and Sadie Campbell, holding some of the goodies available for those who sign up. (Photo by courtesy)
A free book of your very own, a drawstring tote bag and numerous books to borrow at no charge—that’s what children will receive by signing up for a library card. This spring, the Village Library in Broadway is holding a membership card drive for pre-K through second-graders in the North Fork area.
Broadway resident Jill Snider came up with the idea. Snider, who is earning her masters in reading education from James Madison University, chose the card drive for her final project.
“This is really a project directed toward parents to stimulate reading books with their children,” she said.
A literacy assistant at John C. Myers Elementary School for six years, Snider has done extensive research on the benefits of reading to children at an early age. Those benefits include increasing comprehension skills and expanding vocabulary “that everyday conversation and television don’t have the power to do,” she said. “Vocabulary used in writing is just different and it’s broader and more expressive.”
Being read to by a parent also creates a positive emotional association with reading, “which leads children to continue as lifetime readers,” she said. Being a reader “improves the likelihood that children will finish high school and obtain further education, laying a foundation for success in the knowledge-based economy of the future.”
In addition, it also builds parents’ confidence as role models.
Snider coordinated the drive with Village Library manager Barbara Andes. More than 600 fliers were distributed, targeting pre-K through second-graders at John C. Myers, Plains, and Fulks Run elementary schools.
Clubs, businesses and individuals in the community have given their support, Snider said. “It’s wonderful to have these folks in our community who recognize the importance of reading and the privilege of having a library close by for families to use and who have shown that support by making available these free books and bags for young readers.”
About a dozen of the 150 bags and books available have been given out as of Monday.
The heavyweight plastic bag has a pack of crayons, a pencil and bookmarks inside, said Andes. “The kids also get to choose a book to keep—there are six or seven titles to choose from. All of these items are as supplies last.”
“I hope every last one of them goes out with a new card,” said Snider. “A new user of the library would be great.”