“READ EARLY, READ ALOUD” CAMPAIGN REACHES THOUSANDS OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN DURING CHILD LITERACY MONTH

More than 3,600 children participated in the Children and Families Commission’s “Read Early, Read Aloud” campaign, a month-long series of child literacy-themed events in honor of Child Literacy Month. In addition, nearly 10,000 books were distributed to children and parents in November.

The annual public awareness campaign aimed to reach children and parents throughout Orange County by supplying books, reading tips, story time activities, and literary resources for children ages 0-5 to help close the gap on early literacy.

“We feel every time we connect a parent or child with tools and tips for reading aloud, we’re changing a life,” said Kristen Thompson, Director of Ready to Learn Program for the Children and Families Commission. “To distribute nearly 10,000 books makes Child Literacy Month a wild success.”

During November, Commission staff lead story time readings and distributed free books at 20 community events throughout the month, including a special one-day event at the Santa Ana Zoo, “From A-to-Zoo,” on Friday, November 20.

First 5 Commissions of Southern California Championed Regional Effort

The effort was part of a larger regional Child Literacy Month campaign among the First 5 Commissions of Southern California, all of which were created by the voter-approved tobacco tax initiative, Proposition 10. Seven other Prop. 10 Commissions in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Diego and Imperial counties encouraged parents and caregivers of children ages 5 and younger to read aloud to their young children and to start building their home libraries early.

Children and Families Commission and Early Literacy Program

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County through its countywide Early Literacy Program (ELP) supports an ever-growing number of programs and organizations that are dedicated to making sure children are healthy and ready to learn when they enter school. The ELP brings critical literacy resources to families with children ages 0 to 5 years of age. ELP supports literacy programs reaching children throughout the county by supplying books, best practices, readers and literacy resources. For more information, please visit www.earlyliteracyprogramoc.org.

About the Children and Families Commission of Orange County

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County oversees the allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. Funds help pay for education, health care and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age five and their families. The Commission’s goal is to ensure all children are healthy and ready to learn when they enter school. For more information, please visit www.occhildrenandfamilies.com.