Monday, November 19, 2018

Celebrate the Holiday Season with the Gingerbread Man at Family Literacy Event

Preschoolers, toddlers, infants, and their families are invited to celebrate the stories of the season at Leap into Literacy with the Gingerbread Man, Wednesday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Cumming Elementary School, 540 Dahlonega Street.

Admission to the event is free and advance registration is not required. While the program is designed for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, children of all ages are welcome to attend with a caregiver.

Parents and caregivers help children practice writing and using scissors at October’s Leap into Literacy with Biscuit event at Cumming Elementary School.

The event is the second in the 2018-2019 Leap into Literacy series and will feature a puppet show, stories and songs in English and Spanish, early literacy activities, and a chance to take a photo with the Gingerbread Man himself!

Participants will also enjoy a simple dinner from Rosati’s Pizza and an authentic gingerbread cookie baked by Gasthaus Tirol that children can decorate with toppings courtesy of Ingles Markets.

After meeting the Gingerbread Man and practicing a few simple early literacy activities, children will also receive a free book to take home, courtesy of Scholastic, Inc.

“Just over a year ago, Leap into Literacy was formed as a partnership between Forsyth County Public Library, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia Highlands Medical Services, and Literacy Forsyth because we recognized that local families need help preparing their children for success in kindergarten,” says Tracy Walker, Programming Manager at the library.

The program is designed to reach families with children from birth to age five with a series of four free early literacy events each academic year. The events include a storytime or puppet show program designed for preschoolers, a nutritious meal, and education activities that give parents and caregivers the ability to continue early literacy practices at home.

Leap into Literacy organizers agree on the importance of early literacy in preparing children for success in kindergarten and the holidays offer a wealth of opportunities to help children practice early literacy skills.

“Families love to tell stories and share their memories around the holidays and when we tell traditional stories or sing traditional songs, we’re often using words that aren’t as common in our speech at other times of the year. Learning these less common words increases a child’s vocabulary, and that becomes a predictor of reading readiness and success for children as they enter elementary school,” explains Amy Chang, Title I Director at Forsyth County Schools.

Information about literacy, education and health services from the library, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia Highlands Medical Services, and Literacy Forsyth will also be available during the program.

“In addition to helping parents and caregivers teach pre-reading skills to their children, Leap into Literacy also aims to connect families with young children to other free and low-cost services in Forsyth County,” adds Walker.

Leap into Literacy is sponsored by Forsyth County Public Library, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia Highlands Medical Services, and Literacy Forsyth. Leap into Literacy is also supported by a Community Impact Grant from the North Georgia Community Foundation, as well as contributions from Scholastic, Inc., Forsyth County Public Library Friends and Advocates, Barnes & Noble, and other local businesses.

For more information on upcoming early literacy events, including the next Leap into Literacy event in the spring, please visit

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Visit an Early Literacy Story Walk at Warbington Farms

If your fall plans include a visit to Warbington Farms, but sure to check out the library's story walk located near the tractor in the Family Fun Park.

We're retelling The Three Little Pigs in a shortened story walk format that is ideal for families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Start at the welcome sign near the front of the tractor, then read the story aloud with your children.

Parents and caregivers will also find five simple tips on the story walk from the library's 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program that will help you practice early literacy skills at home.

Be sure to pick up a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten flyer at the end your story walk and sign up for the program at

The Scarecrow Trail at Warbington Farms will be on display September 15 through November 3, 2018.

You can vote for your favorite scarecrows in a special Scarecrow Trail photo album on the Warbington Farms Facebook Page or you can vote in-person at the farm through November 3.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Congressman Rob Woodall Reads to Preschoolers at Cumming Library

Families with preschoolers enjoyed a “hopping good” storytime at the Cumming Library on Tuesday morning as U.S. Congressman Rob Woodall visited a special 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten event to read aloud with the children.

“Something amazing happens when reading to children,” said Rep. Woodall. “You can see it in their eyes. Early literacy isn’t just about quality time or entertainment – though it absolutely accomplishes those goals – it’s about laying the groundwork for success and opening doors for the next generation.”

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is an initiative by the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) in support of a nationwide effort to encourage parents of newborns, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to make reading aloud a daily priority.

“It sounds like a daunting task to read 1,000 books with a child,” says Programming Manager Tracy Walker, “but it’s truly not difficult and we’re learning that exposing children to such a wide variety of words in so many books helps them master a larger vocabulary by the time they enter kindergarten.”

In storytimes like the one Congressman Woodall visited, librarians show parents and caregivers simple ways to help their children develop early literacy skills and they talk about ways to reach the 1,000-books goal.

“If you’re reading one book at bed time each night, it will take less than three years to reach the goal. If you’re reading fifteen minutes each day – about the time required to read three picture books – then you can read over a thousand books in a year,” explains Walker.

After a quick reminder for parents about how to register for the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program and how to track a child’s progress with an online reading log, the crowd joined in dancing to “The Bunny Pokey” and listened to The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

Congressman Woodall took the floor for a spirited reading of Peek-A-Boo Bunny, then he introduced a giggling and cheering crowd to another special guest, Peter Rabbit himself!

Tuesday’s event was the first in a series of storytimes and character visits featuring Beatrix Potter’s beloved character Peter Rabbit.

The next event will be held at the Sharon Forks Library on Wednesday, August 29 at 11:15 a.m., followed by additional events at the Hampton Park Library on Thursday, August 30 at 11:15 a.m. and the Post Road Library on Friday, August 31 at 11:15 a.m. and Saturday, September 1 at 11:15 a.m.

All 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten programs are designed for children ages 0 to 5 and admission is free.

For more information, or to sign your child up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, please visit