Natchitoches’ Newest Residents Are “Born to Read”

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2019 will mark 80 years of service for the Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL), and to celebrate its birthday it is giving presents to Natchitoches newest residents through the “Born to Read” program. The NPL and Friends of the Natchitoches Parish Library (FONPL) have partnered to promote literacy and learning from birth. All children born at the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center throughout 2019 will be receiving a book bag, book, information on childhood literacy, and a form to sign their child up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (through the United Way).

“Studies show that language learning, which is greatly improved by reading to children, is a reliable predictor of a child’s success in school and later in life,” says Alan Niette, Community Outreach Coordinator.

“We hope that by promoting library use and providing easy access to books from this early age we will set up our youngest patrons for a lifetime of success.”

After enrolling in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the child will receive 1 book a month until their fifth birthday, giving them a nice 60 book library of their own before even starting kindergarten! The NPL also offers its One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten program, encouraging an early interest in reading as kids listen, learn, then read their way through one thousand books. Participants are invited to a “graduation” party each year at the library before they start their first day of school. This works out to be 200 books a year after being born, or about 4 books a week, to reach the goal before kindergarten.

These programs are also available to any child living in Natchitoches Parish having yet to have entered kindergarten. Sign-up forms are available at the NPL.

For more information, visit the NPL’s website (, call the NPL (318-357-3280), or visit them at 450 Second St.

3 thoughts on “Natchitoches’ Newest Residents Are “Born to Read”

  1. Any movement to create more reading is good; however, can’t parents be responsible for helping their child learn to read, to know the alphabet and count to 1,000 before attending kindergarten? It can be done before the child enters the classroom…. even how to hold a pencil and write their letters. Just something to ponder, but I know it won’t be done by most parents because — not taking time or knowing little more than the child. Ouch, that hurts, but does this seem to be the norm today in Natchitoches?? Please reply and tell me I’m wrong!

  2. This is such a wonderful idea. Children who are read to and then learn to read and love reading are always head and shoulders above others. Kudos to the library for this initiative.

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