New literacy program coming to Mandan Public Schools

MANDAN, N.D. - A nationwide literacy program is coming to Mandan.

"Raising a Reader" engages parents to help their children up to 5 years old develop, practice, and maintain literacy habits.

Britt Liepitz from Mandan says she believes reading with her two-year-old builds a special bond between them, and he's able to identify objects at an early age.

She says this literacy program will comprehension skills.

"When we're out, driving across the river he can identify boats, and the water, so that's kind of cool," said Liepitz.

Liepitz says she and her husband read to their son daily.

"We get so into the routine of reading the same books every day, so I think the Raising A Reader Program will help diversify a little bit," said Liepitz.

Literacy coordinator for Mandan Public Schools says children will get four different books a week, for 25 weeks during the school year.

"Homes often don't have a lot of age and developmentally appropriate books for pre-schoolers, some homes have none," said Vonda Dahl, Literacy Coordinator for Mandan Public Schools.

Liepitz says a lot of parents think reading has to be word for word, but it doesn't need to be that way.

"Reading can be simply looking at pictures, he's at the stage now where he wants to look at pictures and talk about them, and talk about them, and point things out, and that's really helping his language develop as well," said Liepitz.

Dahl says books will be targeted to the child's age and parents will have an opportunity to go into the school and learn engagement techniques.

"That engagement leads to increased language, it leads to social and emotionally school, and it leads to future academic proficiency," said Dahl.

Dahl says it will include science, technology, engineering, and math books as well as fiction and non-fiction.

The program launches at noon on July 24 at Dykshorn Park in Mandan.