Smart Start Launches Summer Reading Adventure

Book filler photo

By Kayla Henson

Columbus County Smart Start

Columbus County Partnership for Children’s Early Learning and Family Resource Center (ELF) is launching its annual Summer Reading Adventure in partnership with the Columbus County Public Library System (CCPL) and local child care facilities.

Through the free program, which begins June 24 and ends July 22, CCPC staff aim to promote, improve and encourage reading for youth throughout the county.

Parents of children ages birth to 5 can register their child in the ELF or online via the QR code on the flyer which is located on the website and Facebook page. Once registered, parents will receive a reading log.

Participants will be entered into a drawing in which an infant, toddler age 1-2 and two children ages 3-5 will receive a prize.

To be eligible for these prizes, participants must complete their reading logs as directed and return them to either the ELF, a Columbus County library by July 29.

The program is part of the Let’s Read! Columbus promotion, an effort by CCPC and partners Columbus County Schools, Whiteville City Schools, and International Paper, to support reading on grade level in Columbus County.

A study by the One World Literacy Foundation showed that if kids can’t read proficiently by the fourth grade, they have a 78 percent chance of not catching up, and data collected by the SAS Institute in Cary found that 62 percent of N.C. fourth graders were not proficient in reading. In Columbus County, just 39.5 percent of third-grade students scored proficient in reading, according to NCChild.

CCPC also promotes literacy through programs Raising A Reader, ELF Story time and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

For any questions on the Summer Reading Adventure or the ELF, call 910-212-6352 or visit the ELF at 107 W. Main St., Whiteville.

For additional information about Columbus County Partnership for Children, call 910.642.8226. Visit the office at 109 W. Main St.,Whiteville or online at “Like” ColumbusSmartStart on Facebook.

The Smart Start Early Learning and Family Resource Center (ELF) provides child development resources that parents, childcare providers and teachers can use to enhance the early care and education of children ages birth to 5. A variety of children’s books, topic resource books, videos, resource kits, toys and other materials are available. ELF offers training and workshops as well as consumer materials in English and Spanish. ELF is open to the public, but materials are only available for checkout by ELF members. To learn more about ELF or how to become a member, call 910-212-6352.