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Our Opinion: Making a difference

December 26, 2001

There are few things as important as instilling in children the importance of reading.

At times doing so can be tough. Many kids tend to look at reading as another form of homework, something that prevents them from watching TV, hanging out with friends or playing their favorite video games.

Most kids need a bit of a push, but once they experience the joy of reading it is an experience they want to continue. It is that initial push that can be the hardest. That is why innovative reading programs are so important.

For that reason we applaud the Imperial County Children and Families First Commission and its partner agencies — the Brawley Public Library and California State Library — for developing the Literacy and Mobile Book Service unit. LAMBS has an RV with a brightly painted exterior depicting desert creatures reading books under the sun. The LAMBS unit is designed to bring books and other bilingual services to children age 5 and under and their parents who might not otherwise be able to visit a library. On board are children's books, health, nutrition and parenting materials and computers with educational software.

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There are few services more important than those that bring books to kids. That is exactly what the LAMBS unit will do.

The goals of the LAMBS program are get kids to read, help parents help their children and provide other educational services. Those are not new ideas. They are things schools and teachers do every day. Still, it is a novel approach to the ongoing effort to show kids just how positive reading can be.

We are confident that once most kids discover reading, they will find themselves drawn to libraries and books. As they start to read, they will develop a hunger for reading and they will make time to do it. No longer will they see it as just another form of homework.

The more kids read, the better their writing skills will become, along with all the other skills they need to succeed in school. They will have a future in which they will seek a higher education and be able to pursue whatever dreams they have.

Maybe those same kids who benefit from the LAMBS program will grow up to develop other innovative ways to teach young people the joys of reading.

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