Literacy is something we hear about and know is important, but do we know why it is so important? Obviously, reading well is a skill that will benefit us throughout our lives but, when it comes to reading to babies and toddlers, there is more to it than that! Time spent reading together is also time spent being loved and feeling secure, key elements to a healthy child.
If you are a parent or caregiver, you may think that reading with your child is not that valuable until he/she begins to speak. However, studies show reading with your child from birth will help him/her develop literacy skills while creating an important bond with you.
In support of early literacy Camp Verde Community Library is partnering with First Things First. Want to learn more about how to help your child develop early language and literacy skills? First Things First staff will be at the library from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. April 30 to share information and a free book (supplies limited). Jennifer Hernandez, of First Things First, had this to say about the importance of early literacy:
- Did you know that reading daily to babies starting at birth promotes early literacy?When infants hear and use language, their brains develop the connections needed to learn how to read.
- Ninety percent of a child’s critical brain development happens by age 5 and daily interactions with caregivers have a huge impact on building vocabulary and language.
If you can’t make it to Camp Verde Community Library on April 30, here are some tips families can start right away:
- Read with young children from the day they are born. Even very young babies respond to the warmth of a lap and the soothing sound of a book being read aloud.
- No matter your child’s age, help their vocabulary grow through your daily interactions: describe what you’re doing; read signs and labels aloud; sing songs; and, make up rhymes.
- Instilling a love of reading in infants, toddlers and preschoolers will pay off when they arrive at school ready to continue learning.
Introducing your child to the pleasure of reading could be as simple as you modeling that reading is fun. Even school-aged children love to be read to. Reading with your child for twenty minutes per day can significantly improve their ability to succeed in school. According to The Children’s Reading Foundation, reading with your child “20 minutes a day from birth through elementary school” will benefit them for the rest of their life. “Children whose parents read with them learn to read well and are typically proficient readers by 3rd grade. It’s as simple as that!”
Look at age-appropriate lists on The Children’s Reading Foundation site or start with a couple of Ms. Dianna’s suggestions:
- Fly by Karl Edwards
- How to Grow a Friend by Sara Gillingham
- Exclamation Mark by Amy Rosenthal
- Butterfly Colors and Counting by Jerry Pallotta
- Who Can Jump by Sebastien Braun
- Let’s Eat by Tina Jo Breindel
- Pardon me! By Daniel Miyares
- Aw, Nuts! By Rob McClurkan
- Mix it up! By Hervae Tullet
- Journey by Aaron Becker
Create a special reading time and place for you and your child or children. Reading at bedtime can be a great way to wind down after an active day, get everyone relaxed, and begin a habit of sharing time together that carries you through when times are tough. No matter the age, engaging your child in literacy through reading and talking about what you read together will have a lasting impact on their development and life. Camp Verde Community Library wants to support you and your child’s literary interests and development. We currently have programs that focus on early literacy, such as Baby Brain time and Story time and would love to hear any ideas you have for other programs you and your children would enjoy. Checkout our Library Events Calendar for dates and times or call 928-554-8387.