Librarians stress importance of early childhood interaction
NORFOLK - Nebraska libraries are trying to reverse a troubling trend in children that aren't reading to their age level.
A study published this year by the Annie E Casey foundation found that 62% of Nebraska fourth graders are not considered proficient in reading. That number is actually better than the national average and shows improvement over the previous ten years.
But librarians say Nebraska can do better. They say that it starts with interacting with and reading to children even before they're old enough to speak or comprehend the words they're hearing.
The Norfolk Public Library has multiple story time and lapsit programs designed to engage younger children, as do most libraries across the state.
But experts say time spent at home interacting with children is the only true way to make sure they will be proficient in reading by the time they reach higher grade levels.