Brielle and Zoey Matthews, are the first children to read 1000 books before Kindergarten, as part of a national literacy program sponsored by the Northumberland Public Library.
Every 100 books, the children brought in their 1000BooksB4K reading log and received a special little prize.
“But the biggest prize of all was hearing all those stories,” said. Jan Bates, Coordinator of Children’s Programs at NPL.
Natalie Matthews, Brielle and Zoey’s mother, is the computer lab teacher at the Northumberland Elementary School. She said being at school every day was an advantage because she was able to check out lots of books and carry them home for the girls. She started at the beginning of the first shelf in the picture book area and just kept right on going from shelf to shelf, reading and reading.
NES library staff started pulling books they thought the girls would enjoy to add to her daily stash. The family also makes frequent visits to NPL, where they are still discovering books they have not yet read. When asked about how they managed to read so many books, Natalie said they read right after school, while cooking dinner, before bedtime, waiting for their big brother “Q” to start his basketball game, at halftimes….whenever and wherever they could fit in a book, they did!
Even Q got into the mix, as he delighted the girls with his own take on books, changing his voice to match the characters in the stories, said Mathews.
“The girls love it when Q reads to them using his ‘funny’ voices,” said Matthews.
“This family is a real inspiration for other families in our community,” said Bates.
She encourages all families of preschoolers to strive to read 1000 books before Kindergarten. Anyone can sign up and start any time.
“As a retired reading teacher, I can report that children who go through this program will definitely be at an advantage over those who have not been read to when they begin school” she said. “It’s fun and starts a love of reading that will continue for a lifetime.”
For more information on getting started contact the library at 580-5051 or stop by and sign up to get started.