March 6, 2014 - June 30, 2014

Additional Information

The Southern MN Initiative Foundation has funded a unique partnership between the non-profit, The Reading Center, Rochester-based experts in reading instruction and select local libraries called BEFORE, Becoming a Family of Readers.  The program offers free Reading Readiness Screenings for 4 – 6 year olds, as well as Reading Clubs at the libraries.  A Reading Club will be formed at each location when at least three families enroll.

The participating libraries include:

Zumbrota Public Library in Goodhue County

Kasson Public Library in Dodge County

Rochester Public Library in Olmsted County

Austin Public Library in Mower County

Houston  Public Library in Houston County

Reading Club is structured as small group, parent or guardian and child time.  Typically, 3 – 5 parent-child teams populate one Reading Club.  The instructors model how to work with the kids.  It’s one of the most important benefits of the Club for parents.  

Young participants enjoy fun activities that teach an important pre-reading skill.  Parents are instructed about why they are engaging in the activity, and what skill it is teaching.  They are encouraged to repeat these activities at home in small, time snippets as is appropriate for the age level of the child.  When parents understand why they are repeating the activity at home, and how it will help their child, they are more likely to practice with their child throughout the week.

If you have any concern about your 4 – 6 year old’s reading, BEFORE Reading Club is great!  If you have a concern that your child is bright, but is not catching on to written language, investigate early.  Don’t wait to see if it will go away on its own because it seldom does.  Reading progresses so much faster when you start with them earlier. 

For more information about the Reading Center, please go to:


Please contact Jan Hagedorn, Reading Readiness Director, The Reading Center at 507-288-5271 (w),

Or 507-269-4465 (cell), or