At the library: encourage your children to read with “Read to 100” | arts and entertainment


Oh. Hi friends.

Long time no see!

I guess out of politeness I should explain my prolonged radio silence, so…here’s the whole truth: I’m writing to you in the whirlwind of projects, program planning and service offerings that make up the heart of your valley from Yakima. Libraries.

Spring is always a busy time of year here, but this year is different; but different in a good way.

The last time we spoke (OK, fine, I “spoke” while you read) I mentioned that the library was working on bringing back some of our in-person programs and activities, so I’m happy to share that as of this week, we are officially in the first phase of this process.

We now offer in-person story time, baby lapsit (which is just as adorable as it sounds!), and book discussion groups at our larger community libraries, including West Valley, Yakima Central, Sunnyside, and Selah.

At this time, we will be limiting the number of participants for each session, so please call your community library before coming to any program.

And keep in mind that we’ll be reevaluating things at the start of the summer, with the goal of bringing even more in-person programs back to Valley Community Libraries – just in time for our summer reading program.

But don’t worry, we have plenty of new services and resources to explore until then, the most notable of which is the rollout of our brand new resource, “Read to 100”.

Designed for ages 3 to 8 (and their adults), Read to 100 is a curated list of 100 picture books from Yakima Valley Libraries, selected specifically to help little readers have fun and learn. engage while learning and developing vital literacy skills.

According to the National Institute for Family Literacy (NIFL), children who read or are read to every day have better language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills.

And even if maintaining a daily reading routine isn’t possible for you or your family, there are still clear benefits to practicing regular reading with your toddlers. For example, an NIFL study of children aged 3 to 5 showed that children who read or were read to at least three times a week were twice as likely to recognize ALL letters; have visual word recognition; and have the ability to understand words in context.

I know, I know – the lady in the library brags the books and reads? ! Stop the presses!

Listen, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’m both the preacher AND the choir in this context, but the value of reading to children and encouraging them to become lifelong readers goes far beyond the fact that I’m a shameless cheerleader for my profession.

The truth is that reading and reading comprehension is an essential part of learning subjects such as writing, spelling, math and science, as well as equipping children with the skills they need to learn. engage effectively and fully in the world around them.

One of the first steps on the journey to turning children into lifelong readers, or to encouraging reading in struggling or reluctant readers, is to select books that will capture their interest and imagination – that’s exactly what we have compiled with our Read to 100 list.

Ready to start your family’s reading journey?

You can explore some of the titles on the list, including additional library resources that support early literacy and learning, by visiting

Or stop by your favorite community library to pick up a Read to 100 brochure (available in English or Spanish), which includes the 100 recommended titles just waiting for you and your family to discover and enjoy.

Until next time, happy reading!

• Krystal Corbray is the Program and Marketing Librarian for Yakima Valley Libraries. She and other library staff write this column for Sunday’s Explore section. Learn more about


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