May is Get Caught Reading Month, a nation-wide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. It’s exciting to offer a child a beautiful book and watch it do its work, cast its spell.
“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own. — Katherine Patterson
Read Across America Poem
You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild,
To pick up a book and read with a child.
You’re never too busy, too cool, or too hot,
To pick up a book and share what you’ve got.
In schools and communities,
Let’s gather around,
Let’s pick up a book,
Let’s pass it around.
There are kids all around you,
Kids who will need
Someone to hug,
Someone to read.
Come join us March 2nd
Your own special way
And make this America’s
Read to Kids Day.
Studies show that children’s book lending and ownership programs have a have positive behavioral, educational, and psychological outcomes.
Access to print materials:
· Improves children’s reading performance
· Proves instrumental in helping children learn the basics of reading
· Causes children to read more and for longer lengths of time
· Produces improved attitudes toward reading and learning among children.
Borrow books from your library. Books and magazine subscriptions are good holiday and birthday presents.
…From Reading is Fundamental
Young children develop all sorts of motor skills as they grow. Here are some that pertain to books and literacy.
At 6-12 months a baby can reach for a book, and put it in his mouth. He can sit in your lap, hold his head steady and turn pages with adult help.
At 12-16 months a baby can sit without support, may carry a book, can hold a book with help, and turn pages of a board book, several at a time.
At 18-24 months, a baby can turn pages of a board book, one page at a time, and can carry a book around the house.
At 24-36 months, a toddler learns to handle paper pages, and goes back and forth in books to find her favorite pictures.
At ages 3 years and up, a child exhibits competent book handling and can turn paper pages, one page at a time.
>Just 34 percent of fourth graders are reading at an acceptable level in grade four. Only 8 percent are “advanced” readers. On the surface, it may appear to parents that their children have four more years of grade school in order to become acceptable readers, but new studies show the importance of reading by grade four.
Findings by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, are the first to show that kids are far more likely to drop out of high school if they can’t read pretty well by fourth grade. Unless America dramatically improves the number of kids who can, a growing proportion of the them will live in poverty as adults. The Foundation contends that the tendency to drop out of high school begins in the early grades when children don’t learn to read. They say dropouts “don’t just happen.”
What can parents do?
* Show that education is important by getting a GED if they didn’t graduate from high school themselves.
* Do all they can to assure that kids attend school every day.
* Show an interest in their children’s reading beginning in first grade. Have them read to you and help them with the words.
* Provide books they like. Let them pick out books at the library or grocery store. Some kids like comic books.
* Don’t let them lose reading skills over the summer. Keep them in practice. Find books they will like to read.
Libraries are known for their books, and we have thousands of them to share for both children and adults.
We’ve added another component to stories for children. TumbleBooks joins Dial a Story as a supplement to books in print.
TumbleBooks is an online book service. Children can watch talking picture books, and older children can read the printed word while listening to the audio story. Log onto TumbleBooks through the library webpage.
Dial a story is a story available on the telephone. Stories are for young children and are changed weekly. 1-888-4ATALE1 (1-888-428-2531)