An early childhood literacy program of the Lewiston and Auburn Public Libraries
The Lewiston and Auburn Public Libraries are pleased to sponsor BookReach, a community collaboration of volunteer readers who deliver virtual storytimes to children in licensed family childcare homes. Our mission is to raise a community of readers by enriching the lives of young children through the pleasure of reading. BookReach began in the fall of 1997 with a grant from L.L.Bean and is now funded by the Lewiston and Auburn Public Libraries. In July 2020, the Lewiston Public Library received a grant that made it possible to purchase technology needed to launch a virtual version of the BookReach program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. BookReach volunteers bring weekly virtual storytimes to children who may not have an opportunity for them on a regular basis.
BookReach has three goals
- To bring a regular reading program and the best in children’s literature to toddlers and preschoolers in family childcare homes.
- To foster children’s enthusiasm for books so they will be ready to learn when they reach school.
- To increase familiarity of area families and childcare providers with a great variety of quality children’s resources.
Who are the volunteer readers?
BookReach volunteers are community members who are committed to children and their education. BookReach offers an excellent opportunity for retirees, business people, and young adults to make a lasting impact on a youngster’s educational development, and an important difference in a child’s life. Our program fosters warm inter-generational relationships between the children and their readers. Any person over 18 years old with an interest in literature, language, and children is encouraged to apply. Volunteers are trained in effective ways to read to preschoolers, emphasizing fun, caring, and sharing. Training is also provided to use the technology involved in the virtual storytimes, as well as pre-selected book bags at either the Auburn or the Lewiston Public Library. All volunteers pass State Bureau of Identification (SBI) and Department of Health and Human Services checks before they are authorized to hold a virtual storytime. If you can spend an hour a week, please call the BookReach Coordinator at 513-3004, ext. 3515 to learn how to join a rewarding volunteer adventure in our community.
Why is it important to read to our community’s children?
Children who are read to before kindergarten are more likely to become proficient readers in school. They are more successful students, and enjoy higher self-esteem and aspirations. And it’s fun for everyone! Any home-based childcare provider interested in this service may reach the BookReach Coordinator at the Lewiston Public Library at 513-3004, ext. 3515 for more information.
How to Sign Up
If you can spend an hour a week, please contact the BookReach Coordinator at 513-3004, ext. 3515 or email at BookReach@LewistonMaine.gov to learn how to join a rewarding volunteer adventure in our community.