• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Library offers free ‘Kindercards’ to promote reading

JAN ROOZEN, 5, now has his very own Kindercard to check out books and other materials at the Woodford County Library. Kindergartners who sign up for this special library card by April 1 also receive a “Bonkers for Books” headband and wallet. Bonkers is pictured at left. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Kindergartners from every school in Woodford County – public, private and home schools – have come to their public libraries in Versailles and Midway to pick up their very own library card. Jan Roozen was one of them.

The five-year-old always keeps his “license” to the library with him. It’s in his wallet on his belt.

Known as a Kindercard, this Woodford County Library card gives Jan and other kindergartners access to thousands of books and other materials. “If he comes with his friend (and family) … he can check out his own books without me,” said mom Jutta Putz.

Jan currently has Peter Rabbit books checked out because he enjoys those stories and drawing some of the illustrations in author Beatrix Potter’s books, she explained.

About 20 percent of all kindergartners in Woodford County (around 80 children) have already received their kindercards by last week.

“It’s free and it’s a wonderful resource for them to have,” said youth services librarian Becky Munoz. “And we have enough materials to provide every kindergartner in the county,” with a “Bonkers for Books” headband, wallet and Kindercard.

Kindergartners in the county can sign up for their very own free library card and receive a headband and wallet through April 1 at either library branch.

“The number one thing that determines a child’s success in education,” said Munoz, “is the time spent reading outside of the classroom.

And we can offer them, thousands of options of different things that they might be interested in.” Jan started going to the library’s story time when he was just 2 – before preschool. “This is his second home,” said Mark Roozen, his dad.

“…He’s quite comfortable here.”

Jan spent a recent Saturday afternoon at the library reading to a dog.

“It’s special when your child reads the first book on his own,” said Putz. “And he read it to a dog because he didn’t want to read it to Mimi” – his grandma who’s Austrian and speaks German.

“The dog,” she said, “just listens.”

Assistant youth services librarian Bookie Wilson learned about Kindercards – an initiative to get library cards into the hands of kindergartners – at a public library conference.

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