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Books make great gifts for any reason: a birthday, a holiday, or celebrating milestones like mastering the multiplication tables, learning to ride a bike, or doing something especially helpful or kind.
During its first five years, "Jingle Books" has provided over 4,000 books for local children.
"Jingle Books makes it easy for people to help young ones develop reading skills and create home libraries. Simply visit your local Indy Library to either take or donate books for children to read." ~ Jackie Nytes, CEO Indianapolis Public Library
Research shows (Science Says: A Book-Filled Home Has Benefits Beyond Reading for Kids) that growing up surrounded by books helps children develop essential skills. Learning to read and opportunities to practice reading are both critical, but access to books and stories do even more. Living an experience from the point of view of someone else, for example, helps children develop empathy, which impacts a child's ability to make friends, care for others, and understand how ones own decisions and actions affect others.
A library card and routine visits to the library are a great way to provide children with a steady stream of new and interesting books. Beyond a library card there are more great ways to collect and keep books in your home. Here are our favorites:
1. Get your child a library card and check out books.
For our youngest readers we suggest checking out a Bunny Book Bag already full of 20 picture books OR a Baby Bunny Book Bag full of 12 board books. Read them and then return them fine free! Also, children under the age of six are eligible to apply for a My First Library Card. This card has several special features including no fines on print materials!
2. Read or listen to free stories online.
When you are on vacation, running errands or just away from home, read along stories are a great way to fill what can be hours of waiting into a lot of fun! 100+ Free Video Read Alouds includes old classics like Where the Wild Things Are as well as newer favorites like Little Jumbo. Click on a book jacket and go straight to a video read aloud! 500+ Free e-Books and Video Read Alouds for Kids with an iPad offers even more! Find performances from favorite actors, listen to and see stories performed in American Sign Language, or listen to stories read by astronauts on the International Space Station!
3. Visit free "take a book, return a book: exchanges: Little Free Libraries are year-round “take a book, return a book” free book exchanges. You have probably seen these as you drive around your neighborhood. You can see a map of Little Free Library locations in Indianapolis on their website. You can even enter your zip code to find the Little Free Libraries closet to you! Indy With Kids has a great article to help you get started finding some - Can You Find a Little Free Library? You can also visit one of The Public Collection sites in Indianapolis. These sites are artist-designed book share stations. The book share stations are free and available to everyone. Also, the stations are beautiful! Take a look at a few of them in the gallery below. See their website for directions to all of their book share stations.
Jingle Books 2020 is a project of The Indianapolis Public Library, the Office of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, and Sondhi Solutions.