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D.C.-area libraries are taking on high illiteracy rates by going into disadvantaged communities and teaching young children the value of picking up a book, The Washington Post reports.


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In addition to these efforts, libraries are stocking up on their book collections for young children between the ages of 6 and 18 months to ensure that kids in poorer communities are ahead of the literacy game. They are also teaching parents and caregivers best practices on how to read to children.

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According to The Post, librarians nationwide see themselves as power players in efforts to teach children how to read as quickly as possible:

“Early literacy has gotten increasing attention, which is really important because it points out the role public libraries play in helping children get ready for success in school,” said Mary Fellows, president of the Association of Library Service to Children. “Public libraries in many communities are the only game in town for these children.”

But D.C.-area libraries are running into a wide range of issues in their efforts to continue their non-traditional approach to bringing literacy to the disadvantaged. Shrinking budgets lead to fewer working hours which lead to fewer services that aid in their outreach efforts.

Read The post for more on this story.