You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be—

I had a mother who read to me.

From The Reading Mother by Strickland Gillilan (in the public domain)

My mother was a reader. She would read to my brother and I every day from the few books we owned and from the many books we borrowed from the library.

She was extremely frugal (my brother and I called her cheap) and she didn’t believe in buying books. She didn’t believe in buying candy bars either so when I was old enough for an allowance, I spent it on the Scholastic book order and candy from the gas station.

Photo by on

Her parents lived through the Great Depression, and she learned to do without from them. I thought she was just being mean by making us work for what we wanted, but she taught me the value of waiting. In planning for what I would buy I spent the time visualizing what I wanted, or I would switch gears and think about the latest book I was reading.

I had several teachers who read aloud to our class after lunch. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next, and I would often worry about the fate of a character until reading time the next day.

Reading aloud to a child is not only an enjoyable activity, but it is also a solid indicator of future reading success. According to the organization,, it is the single most important thing you can do to help prepare a child for reading
and learning.

Additionally, only 48% of children in the US are read to every day. That is almost half but when you consider how important reading aloud is to the language development of young children, we are
missing the mark.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on

During the month of March, we challenge you to read aloud with your child for 15 minutes each day, for 21 days. Download and complete this form: from the Read Aloud 15 minutes Campaign and return it to the library by March 30, 2022, and your child will receive a free book.

Kids 0-10 are eligible to participate. For more information go to or email

In other news, the Youth Services Department invites your talented young person to participate in our second Kids with a Knack Contest! What does your child do well? Or what do they think they do well? This is their chance to shine! Submit a short video of them showcasing their ability between now and March 31 to participate.

Youth Services talent contest from O’Fallon Public Library

This contest is for kids 13-years-old or younger. Go for more details.

Is there a recent kids’ book you think the library should purchase? Email your request to with the subject line of “materials request.” We appreciate your recommendations!

This article originally appeared in the O’Fallon Weekly.

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