The Contra Costa County Library is introducing the Rolling Reader, the Library’s brand-new, all-electric, early literacy outreach van. The Rolling Reader will visit underserved communities across the county where library staff will present storytimes, hand out free books and crafts, and provide activities focused on early literacy, small motor skills, and STEM.
Watch a video of the Rolling Reader.
The Contra Costa County Library has 26 branches across the county, yet many residents still are not able to easily access a library. Some may live too far from a branch or don’t have access to reliable transportation, or have to work during library open hours. The Rolling Reader will allow the library to prioritize providing literacy services to children 0-5 years old in vulnerable communities impacted by poverty. Research shows that early and positive experiences with books set the stage for a child's success in learning to read. Additionally, literacy skills are a strong predictor of health, employment status, and overall success in life. Providing storytimes and crafts for young children will encourage regular exposure to reading and books, thus improving the potential for life success for many children and families.
“We recognized that to reach all our communities, we needed to get out of our buildings and take our services to the residents who need them most,” said County Librarian Alison McKee. “The goal of the Rolling Reader is to instill a lifelong habit of reading and love for libraries.”
Funding for the outreach van was provided by the Bella Vista Foundation and MCE. Staffing for the outreach van is provided by Measure X. Measure X is a half-cent sales tax passed by voters in 2020.
“Early childhood services are one of our County’s top priorities,” said Supervisor John Gioia, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The new library outreach van and early literacy program will improve the lives of many children by making these opportunities easily accessible.”
The Rolling Reader will make its debut on Wednesday, November 15 at the Monument Crisis Center. The event will include a Spanish/English bilingual storytime, free books, crafts, and activities for children, and an opportunity to see the Rolling Reader and the new van mascot, Roxy the fox.
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