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What are ways to boost literacy without breaking the bank?

Reading _literacy _child

Reading is critical to healthy child development. There’s just no questioning the fact.

Even when newborns can’t understand what you’re saying, they absorb your voice’s rhythm and inflections. Babies with caregivers who regularly speak to them have a vocabulary with around 300 more words than those who don’t. And reading — and seeing parents read — shows children that reading is fun.

If your budget is tight, books don’t have to go. Here are great ways to build or borrow a home library that can satisfy all the readers in your house.

Visit your local public library.
Public libraries are reliable resources for a smorgasbord of activities for budding readers. Find an age appropriate story time, participate in a maker event, create arts and crafts, and, of course, tap into the oodles and oodles of free books your family can borrow. Most libraries hold an annual book sale, too.

Make literacy a game.
Did you know that creating a pretend restaurant can be a literacy builder? Your restaurant will need to shop for food and decide what to serve. Making those shopping lists and menus are teachable moments. Playing together means your budding chef can build on writing and thinking skills and serve an extra helping of nutrition knowledge while you’re at it.

Be thrifty.
Visit your local thrift shop or local garage sales for highly affordable books. Many times you can grab a handful of books for the cost of one new book.

Find a Little Free Library.
Have you seen a little hutch of books in a park or yard near you? Those little covered shelves are free book exchanges called Little Free Libraries. You can find them all over the United States. The premise is simple: take a book or leave a book. See if there’s one near you.

Learn more about the value of early education at
ABC Quality is South Carolina’s go-to resource for parents. Find great information about child development and child care quality. ABC Quality is a voluntary rating and improvement program that helps South Carolina parents find high quality child care providers. It is administered by the Division of Early Care and Education of the SC Department of Social Services.

By ABC Quality Team on January 31, 2017