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Kids: Early Literacy: Early Literacy Programs in Northfield and Minnesota

Planting Seeds: 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

The more books children are exposed to, the more they learn about how the world works and how stories work--and the more vocabulary words they are exposed to. Having encountered a word before in their lives helps children immeasurably when they begin to learn to read and sound out words ("ca...caul...oh! I know this word: cauliflower!"). 

Planting Seeds for Kindergarten is Northfield's take on "1000 Books Before Kindergarten," a nationwide program that encourages families and caregivers to read 1,000 books with young children before they enter kindergarten. 

Books encountered in storytime count; audiobooks count; and repeated readings of the same book count (repetition is a key way children learn!).  

To get started, pick up a "seeds sheet" at one of the below sites and start filling in a seed for every book you or another person reads to your child. Your child will receive rewards for every 100 books read. 

Pick up a starter sheet and learn more at the library, or at

Longfellow School 201 Orchard St. S. 507.645.1200 

Northfield Early Childhood Family Education 1651 Jefferson Parkway 507.664.3650

Imagination Library: a Free Book Every Month for Your Child

This is such a great free opportunity for families--please take advantage of it! Thanks to the Northfield Area United Way and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program, area children can receive a free book in the mail every month until they turn five. The selections are wonderful, too: they include classics and recently released titles, are matched to your child's age, and culminate with Nancy Carlson's Look Out, Kindergarten, Here I Come!

Parton began the Imagination Library program to encourage children and parents to read together, to foster a love of reading, and to ensure that families of all income levels could own books at home.

The program is FREE to families who live in the Northfield area: Northfield, Dundas, Dennison, Nerstrand, Lonsdale, Montgomery, Webster, LeCenter, and Kilkenny.

To sign up, simply contact Northfield Area United Way.

Division Street ABC Search!

Give your next family stroll downtown an early literacy boost! Print out a "Division Street ABC" sheet or pick one up at the library. Then have fun hunting for letters together while strengthening letter knowledge and print awareness skills.

Check off each letter as you find it. When you finish, bring your completed ABC sheet to the Children’s Desk at the library and choose a small prize from our treasure box!

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