Kane Education Foundation (KEF) will launch its Birth to Five Literacy Program on January 8. The foundation believes the ability to read is the key to knowledge and opportunity and feels the support they can give to the early literacy development of our future students will have great results.

The Birth to Five Literacy Program is designed to build the home library of every child in Kane County, starting at birth.

Although children can be included in our program at any time between birth and five years of age, children who start this program at birth will have a home library of 20 books from Kane Education Foundation by the time they reach five years of age!

The foundation anticipates that a home library, combined with resources for parents and caregivers as their child’s first teacher, will result in increased early literacy skills for the children in our district.

Lexie Little, who sits on the Board of Directors for the Kane Education Foundation, has been instrumental in developing this program for the past six months. Little says, “Reading is such a fundamental part of lifelong learning and the foundation is excited to work toward increasing literacy in Kane County. In the future, we will look back and be glad that we started this program in 2018!”

There are many activities that caregivers can do to support early literacy in their child and reading to a child from birth is one of them. Several important early literacy skills are developed by reading to children.

Reading to children helps them understand that print on a page stands for something and they are developing what is known as print awareness. When this skill is cultivated, a child learns how to hold a book correctly, knows where a story begins and ends, and understands that text is read from left to right.

Kane Education Foundation is partnering with many organizations to deliver this program.

Megan Smith, Director of the Kane Education Foundation, stated, “We are grateful for the support of the Kanab City Library, Waterford Upstart, Kane County Hospital, Kanab Family Medicine, Valley Medical Clinic, and Kane County School District for their participation and support in getting the word out about this incredible program.”

Caregivers can pick up books January 8 and 10 in the multi-purpose room at Kanab City Library from 12-6 p.m. On January 9, books will be handed out at Valley Elementary School from 12-6 p.m. And on January 11, books will be handed out at Big Water School from 12-6 p.m.

We have different books for each corresponding age. Children can join the program at any time. If caregivers cannot pick up books during our literacy weeks, an email can be sent to smithm@kane.k12.ut.us and a book can be mailed out to your child.

If parents are expecting a child, the first book will be dispensed through the new infant packets that go home with parents from Kane County Hospital after the birth of a child.

After that, the newborn will receive a different book at each of his or her three-month, six-month, and nine-month well child check at either Kanab Family Medicine or the Valley Medical Clinic.

Paul Altherr, Chairman of the Kane Education Foundation, emphasizes, “It is very uncommon for a school district to provide this type of program, given the numerous requirements and priorities for children in preschool through grade 12. In contrast, this is the type of program that a local education foundation can provide. And that is exactly what the Kane Education Foundation is doing through the generous contributions from businesses and individuals!”

Kane Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and contributions to the Kane Education Foundation are deductible for federal and state income tax purposes to the extent allowed by law. Charitable contributions support the delivery of our programs and services. Over 95 percent of their income comes from the generosity of individuals and businesses.

To learn more about the Foundation’s exciting programs and to find out how you can help, please visit our website at www.kaneeducationfoundation.org, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for important updates and information about our programs.