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New Baby Bookworms Program Encourages Reading And Engagement With Infants

courtesy of Wichita Public Library

The Wichita Public Library is offering a new program to encourage summer reading and engagement with babies. So far, 13,000 little ones are enrolled. KMUW’s Carla Eckels has more...

Baby Bookworms is an expansion of the summer reading program for children and teens. Erin Downey-Howerton, Youth Services Librarian says the program helps babies learn and build skills.

“We recognize that early literacy is very important," she says. "Lots of people are aware of the importance of encouraging children who can’t even read yet to participate in activities that will enhance their ability to be literate later on. Baby Bookworms kind of came out of that and we offer this program to children ages 0-2."

Downey-Howerton says an activities sheet outlines ideas such as making music by banging on pots and pans or picking up a leaf in a park and talking to babies about color and texture.

"Describe what you're seeing so that they grow their vocabulary by hearing unique words from you," she says. "Play with shaving cream in the bathtub. They love that! Trace letters and have them trace shapes. Those sorts of things are fun activities for babies and it stimulates that part of their brain that’s helping them be ready to learn by the time they get into school.”

Parents can enroll their babies at any of the 9 Wichita Public Libraries through July 25th.