Read to Win

Read to Win

The Read to Win Program began in June, 1993, as a component of the Grayson Adult Literacy Team. Read to Win addresses reading readiness and literacy training at the preschool level using a whole family approach to learning. In 1994, the Read to Win program won the Library Program of the Year Award for the Northeast Texas Library System. In January, 1996, Read to Win migrated to the Denison Public Library Endowment Fund to reduce administrative and program costs.

The mission of the Denison Public Library is to provide progressive resources, meeting space, and guidance to the citizens of Denison and Grayson County in their pursuit of life-long learning.

Read to Win exists to provide literacy-rich, early childhood learning experiences for children birth to 5 years of age. Recognizing the parent as the child's first and most important teacher, Read to Win strives to provide the tools and resources critical to preparing the young child for reading success as they enter school.

Dr. Pam Schiller, a leading early childhood specialist states current brain research shows that 85% of the foundation of the brain is wired by age 3; 95% by age 5. This is a critical time in childhood development. The Library is in a prime position to facilitate parent education and provide needed resources. Through experiences provided at the Library and at off-site programs, we model to parents and caregivers simple, educational activities that can be reproduced at home and in facilities.

The Denison Public Library, through the Read to Win program, can make a difference in the future generations of our community. A child can enter Kindergarten with as low as a two year old vocabulary or as high as a ten year old vocabulary and the only difference is the number of hours a child has been read to at home. Linda Katz, Executive Director of the Children's Literacy Initiate states that reading success is so tied to success in general, that some states predict future prison beds needed based on the reading levels. In Indiana, the number of future prisons is based, in part, on the number of 2nd graders not reading at 2nd grade level. California uses the percentage of children that never make it past 4th grade reading level. Low literacy is the socio-economic factor prison inmates have most in common.

The Denison Public Library, in coordination with the Read to Win program, have been on mission for many years to change the success rate of future generations.Ultimately, our goal is to reach every family in Grayson County with children under the age of 5. The parent is the child's first and most important teacher and we believe we can assist parents by providing resources, tools, education and peer support by offering programs at the Denison, Sherman and Pottsboro Libraries and other venues. Additionally, Read to Win can have a positive influence on Child Care Facilities, by modeling best practices, providing resources to Child Care Providers and access to training. We place high importance on current research, practices and curriculum and with the Denison Public Library as the resource place, we can provide the latest information to facilities who may not otherwise have access to these resources.

The Read to Win program began in June 1993, as a component of the Grayson County Literacy Team. Read to Win addresses reading readiness and literacy training at the preschool level using a whole family approach to learning. In 1994, the Read to Win program won the Library program of the Year Award for the Northeast Texas Library System. In 1996, Read to Win migrated to the Denison Public Library Endowment Fund to reduce administrative and program costs.

Beginning in the Fall of 2015, Read to Win set and reached a goal to provide services to every preschooler in Denison. Read to Win achieved the goal of reaching every child 0-4 enrolled in public, private and daycare centers in Denison in 2016.

In 2015, the Denison Public Library was chosen as a Family Place Library, one of twelve charter Libraries in the state of Texas. The Director and Library Programming Supervisor of Denison attended training in New York City to become a Family Place Library; Pottsboro Library was awarded this distinction in 2016.

Read to Win provides weekly sessions in all schools with Pre-K, Headstart and Life Skills classes. We provided training and resouces for Denison ISD school librarians for all campuses, Elementary-High School. Read to Win provides sessions at Fred Douglas Head Start and Pre-K classes in Sherman and the Sherman Public Library Read to Win sessions are held in their programming space. We provide training and meeting space at the Denison Public Library for Texoma Babywearers. Through Baby Boot Camp at WNJones Hospital we provided Every Child Ready to Read parent training. We provided volunteers to listen to children read at the Project Transformation and Read to Win provided giveaway books for the Back to School Fair. Denison Public Library provided Infant, Todddler, Preshool and Pre-K sessions and taught What's the Big Idea? science classes for ages 3-7 for ACES Homeschool. Read to Win provided sessions for children while parents attended Grayson County Literacy Team ESL classes at the Denison Library. WIC provided professionals for our Parent Child Workshop in the area of Nutrition. Step to Strides provided speech pathologist and physical therapist professionals for Parent Child Workshop in the areas of Language Development and Childhood Development. Susan Matthews of Musikgarten, voice and piano instructor was the professional for Parent Child Workshop in the area of Music and Movement. The Denison Performing Arts donated supplies for the Art Exploration station at our Parent Child Workshop. Denison Library hosted the Awards ceremony for K-4th Young at Art Competition and displayed the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners from Denison Elementary schools and Homeschools. We provided Every Child Ready to Read parent training for teen parents and held Babygarten class for pregnant teens and teen parents for the Pathways High School. We provided Every Child Ready to Read parent training for True Options.

The above relationships directly relate to early childhood and/or early literacy. We also have relationships with other agencies, such as Boys & Girls Club of Denison, Denison Main Street, Eisenhower State Park, Hagerman Wildlife Refuge, Red River Railroad Museum, Sherman Museum, and other Departments within the City of Denison, such as Main Street and Parks & Recreation.

Parents, teachers and caregivers who are educated on the importance of early childhood development and are given the necessary tools can dramatically affect the development of a child in the critical years when the brain is being wired and important connections are made. The child will benefit from these early experiences that will have a greater impact on success in school and in life. The parent and/or caregiver will benefit by learning what skills are needed and simple activities that help the child acquire these skills. Teachers benefit by having students that are ready to learn. The community benefits in the future when we have children that have received the experiences needed to grow up to be successful, fully functioning members of society.