WHAT WE ARE DOING?
- Children enrolled in over 41 Early Education Programs throughout our County bring home the red Raising A Reader bags.
- Guidance for Parents: When parents and children bond through reading time and lots of engaged conversation, children are better prepared for reading success. Raising A Reader Coordinators, consisting of TK Teachers, Preschool Teachers, Home Based Teachers and Family Child Care Providers, provide research background, reading aloud strategies and teach parents on early brain development. The newly acquired book sharing techniques help families improve these critical bonds.
- Connections to local libraries: Families get to know and use their local library. All children have opportunities to receive their own library card, their passport to read, continuing their family reading routine.
WHY WE ARE DOING IT?
- Reading is a resource for brain development: “Early language and literacy (reading and writing) development begins in the first three years of life and is closely linked to a child’s earliest experiences with books and stories. The interaction that young children have with such literacy materials as books, paper and crayons, and with the adults in their lives, are the building blocks for language, reading and writing development.” – Zerotothree.org
- The Words Children Hear – Young children learn language from the speech they hear: In 2015, several researchers compared language in 100 randomly chosen popular storybooks to the words spoken in more than 4,000 everyday conversations between parents and children. In nearly every random sample, the books contained far more unique words than the conversations. Children learn language by hearing language. Verbal skills at entry into kindergarten predict reading success later in school. When families have access to storybooks and parents engage in lots of positive verbal interactions, children thrive! (Research Article: The Words Children Hear: Picture Books and the Statistics for Language Learning Research by Jessica L. Montag, Michael N. Jones, and Linda B. Smith)
- Family Bonding: The parent-child bond is an essential foundation for the developing child who finds security and confidence in their parents’ love. As parents take time out from their hectic schedules to give children quality, undivided attention, this resonates with children showing them they are important. Reading for and with children therefore gives parents the opportunity to establish a strong and nurturing bond.
FOR TEACHERS: VALUE OF RAISING A READER PROGRAM
- Inspires a child’s love of reading.
- Increases family involvement through books.
- Exposes children to high quality books.
- Makes children feel responsible and in charge – building their sense of confidence
- Links the classroom to the home.
- Engages parents to talk to their children, taking time for quality, focused attention and conversations back and forth.
- Provides teachers an opportunity to talk to parents frequently about the importance of reading.