Zion-Benton’s Coalition for Healthy Communities mission is to lead our communities in a collaborative effort to improve identified health, wellness, and social issues. As subcommittee formed under this mission, the Literacy Task Force seeks to promote literacy within our community—to create a community of readers—and increase community awareness of existing literacy resources.
The Literacy Task Force (LTF) of the Coalition for Healthy Communities is comprised of representatives from the four school districts serving Zion-Benton Township, districts 1, 3, 6 and 126. Over the last several years the LTF has developed and implemented programs designed to promote literacy in our community. Most notably members of the task force have provided professional development to community and home daycare providers. These trainings have been conducted in partnership with the YWCA.
Another successful activity is the annual Nursery Rhyme Time. In this event parents and children of preschool and primary aged children visit local businesses to recite a nursery rhyme posted in that business. Participants receive a card with a copy of the rhyme that also includes information about the importance of rhyming in early literacy. Businesses may choose to give away a small prize. Children who collect at least five cards can visit the Zion-Benton Public Library to receive a bag of books, courtesy of Bernie’s Book Bank.
The LTF will be adding a new event in 2015. Read for My School or #R2R is designed to develop a little friendly competition between all schools in Zion-Benton Township. In this competition schools will compete to see who can have the largest percentage of students participating in the Zion-Benton Public Library’s summer reading program. Other community members can join the fun by declaring a school that they are reading for increasing that schools percentage. The task force believes it can triple the number of people participating in the summer reading program!
It’s Nursery Rhyme Time for Children Ages 2 – 8
In recognition of National Poetry Month (April), National Library Week as well as the Week of the Young Child (April 12th – 18th), the Coalition for Healthy Communities is sponsoring Nursery Rhyme Time. Between April 6th and May 2nd, children between the ages of 2 and 8 in Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor and Zion can visit participating businesses to receive a trading card with a nursery rhyme on it. If they read the rhyme, with the help of an adult, they will receive a small treat or gift from that business. Children who collect at least five different trading cards can show them at the Zion-Benton Public Library before May 2nd and receive a bag of six books provided by Bernie’s Book Bank.
The goal of this project is to increase awareness of the importance of rhyming in the development of early literacy. Nursery rhymes develop an awareness and understanding of sounds. This awareness is a strong predictor of how well a student will read. Don’t miss this opportunity to start a home library for your young reader!
To participate, visit the following businesses between April 6th and May 2nd:
Ace Hardware, Black Cat Stitchery, Callie’s in the Square, Campbell’s Barber Shop, Culver’s, Dairy Queen, El Azteca Mexican Restaurant, El Lago, Great Lakes Credit Union, Harbor Headlines, Liberty Cleaners, N&T’s, Northstates Bank, Omni, Soul 4 Real, Upscale Resale Shop, Walgreens in Zion, Walgreens in Beach Park
|Literacy||3rd Mondays||Zion Public Library
2400 Gabriel Ave
Zion, IL 60099
|Rosemary Betz – Chair
Sarah Wachowiak – Co-Chair