Help Children Develop a Love of Reading
Studies done during the last decade show a sharp decline in the number of students who read for fun and a decrease in home support for reading.
U.S. Department of Education statistics show on average mothers spend less than 30 minutes a day and fathers even less only 15 minutes a day talking with their children. Idaho families can buck these trends by spending time together during Idaho Family Reading Week (mid-November each year) and throughout the year, by getting back to basics.
State Librarian Dr. Charles Bolles challenges families to visit their public library, read more books, and spend more time talking and reading aloud with children. He also views Idaho Family Reading Week as an opportunity for the community to celebrate literacy.
"By combining efforts and involving as many Idahoans as possible, we have a much better chance of reaching Idaho parents with the read aloud message," Dr. Bolles said. "Reading aloud is the single most important thing parents can do to ensure their child's success in school and libraries are a great place for families to learn more together."
Here are some things parents and caregivers can do to help develop a love of reading from a young age:
- Talk, read and sing to your child every day.
- Ask grandparents, aunts, and uncles to share family stories, lullabies, or nursery rhymes with younger family members.
- Learn new fingerplays (finger puppets) or songs to sing with your child.
- Visit your public library and have your child select books to read.
- Create a "reading" home by placing books everywhere. Books put in the kitchen or the bathroom can be enjoyed any time children are in that room.
- Be selective and involved in your children's television watching.
- "Parents who read and whose homes have lots of reading materials also have children who get a lot of reading done," Bolles said. "And we all know that good reading skills are linked with success in school and later life."
Copyright 2007 by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
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