Did you know the building blocks for reading proficiency are grounded in language developed in the first three years of life? Research shows that reading to children is a wonderful way to increase vocabulary and literary skills.

“Our Read & Play Program promotes early literacy skills in our young students,” Educare of Omaha, Inc. (www.educareomaha.org) Executive Director Rafel O. Hart said. “The program increases frequency of reading at home and uses follow-up reading activities to promote connection between parents and children.”

Through Read & Play, each child receives a free bilingual and developmentally appropriate book, and parents receive strategies on how to read the book to their child and engage in activities related to the book theme.

The Omaha Community Foundation recently awarded a grant from the Creche Childhood Fund for Educare of Omaha, Inc.’s Read & Play Program. Funds will provide books and materials to support children’s literacy skills at home.

“We are grateful for the support from the Creche Childhood Fund that helps our families build an at-home library of books to enjoy again and again, while creating memories reading and playing together,” Hart said.

Educare of Omaha, Inc. serves over 600 infants, toddlers and preschoolers – and their families – each year by providing high-quality, year-round early education at five early learning schools located in North and South Omaha, and also operating a home visiting program. Learn more at www.educareomaha.org.