Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Read Me a Story!

If you have a child, you're probably quite familiar with this request (or, as my almost two-year-old puts it, "Book!"). Reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to ensure future reading success. Sharing books can be a powerful thing. And the physical closeness that accompanies reading, especially with a young one, will reinforce the ability to learn. "When a child and parent cuddle up to read, the powerful nurturing emotions generated by that experience make it easier for the brain to retain the concepts, new words, and vicarious experiences that are encountered in the story". (School Library Journal, September 1, 2011) If your child won't cuddle up with you any more, just try gently placing a hand on her shoulder as she's reading; this will connect the act of reading with your nuturing touch.

It can be just as rewarding to read to older children as well. The book The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma is a powerful account of the author's father reading to her every night until she left for college, a streak that lasted almost nine years. The commitment they made to reading forged a powerful bond and helped them deal with some difficult issues along the way. To start your own reading streak, visit your local public library and pick out some books together with your child. Help make "Read me a story!" a daily phrase and one with which you'll happily comply. Guest post by Shelly P.

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