SOUTHERN MARYLAND — The libraries of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s County want to encourage young children to get a head start on reading to help get them ready for school and strengthen their vocabulary through programs that track the child’s progress over the years.
Their biggest program, The 500 by 5, advocates for families to begin their child’s joy for reading at a young age to help foster a love for books that will help them succeed as they grow.
The three libraries in SOMD all host this program and have sign-ups on their websites. While five hundred books does seem like a daunting number, the libraries suggest several different ways in which the total can be achieved:
- One book per day for two years
- Weekly library storytime from birth to age five
- Two bedtime books each night for one year
The Charles County Library also has The Imagination Library. Through their partnership with the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association (SMRLA), the program donates a free book to children under five years old every month. The Calvert Library also has a Summer Camp program for 2022.
With the flexibility of when to read and which books, these programs can be a great way to support your child’s early education before school to prepare them for the classroom. To learn more about your specific library and how to sign up for 500 by 5, follow the links below: