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CSC Leon hosted first ‘Family Book Fair’ to promote early literacy for the Holidays

The Council, along with various community partners, provided free resources and age-appropriate materials to foster reading skills development during the coming winter break.

TALLAHASSEE, FL – On Monday, December 11, the Children’s Services Council of Leon County (CSC Leon) hosted its first-ever Family Book Fair. More than 50 children and their families participated in the event, accessing free resources to promote early literacy and caregiver-child bonding from a half-dozen community partners.

“Early literacy experiences stimulate brain development and enhance cognitive abilities,” explained CSC Leon Executive Director Cecka Rose Green. “Every time we read, talk, and sing with young children, even our infants, we are creating strong bonds and building their foundation for learning and understanding. This event is to help parents and caregivers understand the roles they play in fostering the ability of children to reach their highest potential.”

Students who reach grade-level proficiency in reading by grade 3 are four times more likely to graduate and succeed in their careers. Yet, in Leon County, nearly half of students are behind. This number is dramatically worse when looking at students at Title I schools. Community partners agree that collaboration among providers is essential to reach as many families as possible if we truly want to positively impact the lives of our youngest residents.

“This Family Book Fair is just a preview of what’s to come for families in Leon County,” said Dr. Zandra Glenn, CSC Leon chair and local advocate. “The Children’s Services Council does more than just fund programs. We bring organizations together to meet families where they are and provide resources we know will better prepare children and youth for success later in life.”

The Family Book Fair also gave many families in attendance a chance to complete a childhood developmental screening thanks to a partnership with 2-1-1 of the Big Bend’s Help Me Grow program.  Known as ‘Books, Balls and Blocks,’ children are invited to participate in a variety of activity stations that will allow them to engage in developmentally appropriate play. The activities, paired with direct parental feedback, serve as a screening tool to determine if young children are on track with certain developmental milestones such as communication, self-regulation, motor skills and adaptive functioning. For children with concerns, Help Me Grow actively connects families to services through a collaborative system of child healthcare, education, and family support service providers– all at no cost.

For an inside look at the event, click on the video below. CSC Leon hopes to offer more family literacy-based events across the community in the coming months.

Our thanks to the partner organizations who made the Family Book Fair happen: 2-1-1 of the Big Bend, Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend, Florida Center for Reading Research, FSU’s Rebound & Recovery, Leon County Schools, New Worlds Reading, and WFSU.

November 29, 2023: Looking for age-appropriate reading materials and activities to do with your child during the upcoming winter break? CSC Leon and 2-1-1 Help Me Grow invite you to a Family Book Fair & “Books, Balls & Blocks” Childhood Screening on Monday, December 11, 4-7 p.m. Families are invited to come, play and READ while also completing a free developmental screening for children, ages 3 to 8 years.

The first 30 families to register for a childhood screening will receive “take & play” children’s bag of activities. Register today!

Resources provided by: 2-1-1 Big Bend Help Me GrowLeon County Schools Early Childhood ProgramsWFSU Public MediaLeon County Public LibrariesFlorida Center for Reading Research

Sponsored by the Children’s Services Council of Leon CountyChildren’s Forum and the State of Florida, Division of Early Learning.