SARASOTA, FL – In order to encourage families with young children to read together, the HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) program of the Safe Children Coalition is offering the “100 Books in 100 Days” reading challenge, an initiative of the Florida HIPPY program, which serves children and families throughout the State of Florida. The HIPPY families who have chosen to participate have agreed to read at least one book a day with their child for 100 days. The Reading Challenge began on January 11 and continues through April 21, 2021.
HIPPY is a home-based early intervention program that helps parents teach their 2-5-year-old children. Nearly 100 area families participate in Safe Children Coalition’s HIPPY program.
Early literacy and language skills are crucial in helping children be kindergarten-ready, so that they are poised to be successful learners. The ages of 2-5 are especially important as children experience rapid cognitive development and building of language skills.
Recognizing that it may be a challenge for some HIPPY families to find enough books to read with their child(ren) during this event, the Florida HIPPY network is working to create a virtual library of recorded books – reflecting the diversity and culture of HIPPY families – that parents and children can view together online. HIPPY volunteers from our local community are also contributing by uploading recorded stories to the virtual library for participants to enjoy.
Participants are keeping logs of stories they read or books they listen to. At the end of the 100 days, each participant will get a certificate.
There is a Florida HIPPY Facebook page where books and instructions are posted daily. Additionally, local HIPPY coordinator Jone Williams is planning a Virtual HIPPY Readathon to compliment the “100 Books” effort; this will take place on April 14.
“We know and data proves that children who are introduced to reading early on are far more likely to be ready for kindergarten and excel in school,” said Brena Slater, president and CEO of Safe Children Coalition. “For families in our HIPPY program – many of whom don’t have access to formal preschool programs due to financial, logistical or geographic barriers – it is especially important that caretakers play an active role in a child’s development. Plus, reading is fun!”
For more information about the HIPPY program, call Williams at 941-481-6600. For more on Safe Children Coalition, go to sccfl.org.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies who provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.