Book some Family Reading Week fun

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When Jennifer was born, her parents decided to put her on a “diet” of at least 10 books a day. Born with a heart defect, she had to stay in the hospital for seven weeks after birth. While still in intensive care, her parents began reading to her and left recordings of stories for the nurses to play for her when they couldn’t be there.

At 7 years of age, Jennifer was one of the best readers in her first grade class with consistently high scores in reading and vocabulary.

When Jennifer was two months of age, her parents were told that she was blind, deaf, and severely retarded as a result of Down syndrome. At age 4, her IQ was 111.

Throughout her school years, Jennifer’s parents continued to read to her. By the time she graduated high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society and accomplished artist. She went on to attend Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

This experience comes from “The Read-Aloud Handbook” by Jim Trelease. It is one of many in the book that demonstrate the impact that family reading has on a child.

“When parents read to their children, their attention is focused on the child. It creates a loving, learning experience for the child that has tremendous benefits for them,” explains Suzanne Davis, Children’s Services librarian.

Every November, the Idaho Commission for Libraries promotes Family Reading Week. This year, Mayor Shelby Rognstad issued a proclamation declaring Nov. 12-18 Family Reading Week in Sandpoint. The mayor read the proclamation aloud at the Nov. 1 City Council meeting, stating the importance of reading together as a family.

Parents, grandparents, children, and anyone who wants to celebrate the value of family reading are invited to the Family Reading Week Party on Thursday, Nov. 16 at Kootenai Elementary School. Due to our big construction project, the party could not be held at the library this year. We are grateful for the venue and help from Kootenai Elementary School Librarian LeAnn Kopsa with organizing this year’s event which includes stories, crafts, party snacks and a special appearance by Olivia the Pig. Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad and Kootenai Mayor Nancy Lewis will both be in attendance.

This year, during Family Reading Week, make a special effort to read aloud to the children in your life. The effects of doing so will benefit them their whole life.

Bring the family to one of our engaging literacy events this week:

• Friday, Nov. 10 — Teen Writers Club, 3:30 p.m.; teens who write … unite! Collaboration, peer reviews, brainstorming activities. Writing supplies and refreshments provided.

• Saturday, Nov. 11 — Closed for Veterans Day

• Monday, Nov. 13 — Organic gardening and seed saving, 1 p.m. at the Sandpointbranch. A community discussion with food and seed sharing. For more information, contact Camisse Nitkowski 263-6248.

• Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Mother Goose, 10:15 a.m. The library’s Story Times will be at Creations on the Cedar St. Bridge for a while due to the construction project. Stories and singing for babies and toddlers 0-3 years old and their caregivers. Information:

• Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Preschool Story Time, 11 Creations. Stories and crafts for kids who are 2-5 years old. The library’s Story Times will be at Creations on the Cedar St. Bridge for a while due to the construction project. Information:

• Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Robotics with Lego Mindstorm, 3 p.m. Learn to build or code. For boys and girls age 8-plus at the East Bonner County Library District Clark Fork Branch, 601 Main.

• Wednesday, Nov. 15 — Clark Fork Stories and More, 10:30 a.m. Stories and More is back after taking a few weeks off. Kids and their caregivers enjoy story time, songs, snacks, and crafts at the Clark Fork Branch Library, 601 Main.

• Wednesday, Nov. 15 — Crafternoon – Arabic Calligraphy. 2 PM. Free family fun with an artistic craft to take home. At the Sandpoint Branch lobby. For more information, contact Suzanne: 263-6930 ext. 1211 or

• Wednesday, Nov. 15 — Make It at the Library, 2 p.m. at the Clark Fork Branch Library. Tweens andteens make a variety of STEAM projects. Information: 266-1321.

• Thursday, Nov. 16 — Family Reading Week Party with Olivia the Pig, 5:30 p.m. at Kootenai Elementary School, 301 Sprague St. Celebrate Family Reading Week with stories, crafts, party snacks, and a special visit by Olivia the Pig! For more information, contact Suzanne Davis, 263-6930 ext. 1211 or

• StoryWalk — A partnership of the library, Kaniksu Land Trust, city of Dover, and city of Ponderay. Pages from a children’s book are posted along a self-guided trail. At Dover City Park, read “The Monster’s Monster” by Patrick McDonnell. At McNearney Park in Ponderay, enjoy “Close Your Eyes” by Kate Banks. For more information, visit or call Suzanne Davis, Children’s Services Librarian, 263-6930 ext. 1211 or

• Clark Fork Autumn Reading Program — Earn silent auction “bucks” when you log your reading between September and December. For all ages at the Clark Fork Library, 601 Main St. Information: 266-1321.

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