NEWTON, NJ - Each year the New Jersey State Library recognizes select public libraries for their Best Practices awards. This year, the Sussex County Library’s Youth Services Department was awarded Best Practices in Early Literacy for their Read & Play Programs. Targeted to children ages six months through four years, Read & Plays encompass a wider-than-usual age range to allow siblings to attend the same program. Lasting 30-45 minutes, each program starts with simple stories, songs and fingerplays (i.e. This Little Piggy). Restless children are encouraged to move to the music and play along with shakers, colorful scarves, and circle time with a parachute. The program ends with guided playtime using sensory and learning toys to encourage early literacy skills such as counting, sorting and identifying colors. 


In addition to a Best Practices in Early Literacy certificate, the Sussex County Library received a $1,000 award, presented during the State Librarian’s Breakfast at this year’s New Jersey Library Association Convention in Atlantic City. The award will be used to enhance this year’s Summer Reading Program, Build a Better World, which begins June 19. Visit your local Branch or for more details.