Sacramento Public Library

Book First initiative aims to develop young readers

Library is distributing thousands of books to first graders at Sacramento area schools
Book First provides a free book to keep for every first grader in schools in Sacramento County with 70% or higher free/reduced price lunch eligibility. The goal of this program is to support children in the first grade to become confident and successful readers and to connect them with even more free books at the library. We want all first graders to become avid readers and library users.

Books will be provided during school visits at 119 schools in every eligible district in Sacramento County from November 2016 – March 2017.  We estimate over 9,100 first grade students will receive a book.

Why are we focusing on first graders?
There is a lot of attention on third grade reading scores as an important marker for a student’s future educational success. The goal of Book First is to support new readers even earlier so they are successfully reading by third grade. We have chosen to focus on first grade as it is the year that students grow their skills beyond learning letter sounds and sight words to being able to read sentences and understand what they are reading.  

Tips to help your child become a strong reader

Get all the books your new reader needs with a library card
There are many beginning readers and early chapter books available at your local library. You can borrow up to 30 books at a time.

Allow your child to choose the books                                
If a new reader gets to pick out which books to read, he or she will be more motivated to want to read them.
Great Reads for Kids

Let your child choose “easy” books
Reading something at an easier level helps children build reading confidence and keeps them motivated to read.

Try different library resources
  • Look for non-fiction books, which are grouped by subject. Kids at this age love to learn about their world and that curiosity can inspire them to try more challenging books.
  • Try a graphic novel. Many children need illustrations to stay motivated.
  • Check out a picture book with a CD. Reading and listening to a story builds comprehension. 
  • Listen to audio books. They introduce new vocabulary and keep children interested in stories.
  • Read books online. Download an eBook or try out the BookFLIX resource in the Kids section

Read together
Even when children start reading on their own, it still helps them to hear books read out loud. Reading aloud to children helps them learn how to sound out new words and adds to their vocabulary.

Donate to support Book First

Funding for Book First was raised by the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library during the 2016 Big Day of Giving. Consider making a contribution to ensure the ongoing development of this new program.   



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