BOISE, Idaho – In recognition of Read Across America Day, the Lee Pesky Learning Center wants to remind parents that improving literacy begins at birth, and the fundamentals of reading start at home. When children learn early to associate reading with pleasure, they are more likely to enjoy reading on their own as they grow older.
The following suggestions are from the Lee Pesky publication Every Child Ready to Read - Literacy Tips for Parents. These are easy-to-use tips that parents can utilize with children from the crib to the classroom.
Infants (Birth to 18 months):
- Carry on conversations with infants. Notice how they listen and respond during pauses.
- Play the bag game: Put 6-8 small toys or objects in a container. Allow baby to pull items out and explore them. Tell her the name of the objects as she plays with them.
- Create original verses about the baby’s actions for old songs or rhymes: “Are you Crawling” for “Are you Sleeping”.
- Read to your infant. Allow them to hold books once they can sit and grasp.
Toddlers (18 to 36 months):
- Ask younger children to read to dogs or even stuffed animals. Kids love the idea, and dogs are very nonjudgmental of mistakes.
- Make up stories and ask the child to fill in the blanks: Once upon a time, there was a girl named _________ and she liked to ____________.
- Make music a part of every day – sing, play music, stomp, clap, and dance.
- Let toddlers help you with the grocery list. Point out items on the list as they are found and have child draw line through the word.
Preschooler (3 to 4 years):
- Let kids help with cooking and following simple recipes.
- Tongue twisters are fun ways to play with the sounds of language. Start with simple ones like: Tall Tom took ten turkeys; Silly Sue saw seven snakes…
- Encourage “driting” – the combination of drawing and writing – by providing lots of art and writing supplies. Encourage any and all markings. Learning to write letters is a process; celebrate all the steps along the way.
About Read Across America Day
Every year on March 2, thousands of schools across the United States participate in activities to recognize Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Education Association. Timed each year to coincide with the birthday of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, Read Across America Day is an opportunity to hold a variety of special book-related events and celebrate the joy of reading.
About the Lee Pesky Learning Center
About Every Child Ready to Read – Literacy Tips for Parents
The Lee Pesky Learning Center is a non-profit, educational organization specializing in helping people with learning disabilities. Its philosophy is that all people can be taught how to learn and deserve to reach their fullest potential in reading, writing, and math. Based in Boise, Idaho, the Center opened in 1997 to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the late Lee David Pesky and to offer children and adults opportunities similar to those that helped Lee successfully overcome his learning disabilities. For more information, visit www.lplearningcenter.org
The Lee Pesky Learning Center has created this easy, accessible reference for parents to help foster better literacy skills in children. Topics are individually tailored for three age ranges – infant, toddler, and preschool. The fundamentals of reading start at home. Every Child Ready to Read
helps parents motivate their children to learn, and to become confident readers who will always enjoy reading. The book is available nationwide at leading bookstores through Random House. In February, the Lee Pesky Learning Center received an $185,000 Congressional Appropriation to distribute this book to the family of every newborn born in Idaho in 2005 – an incredible resource for Idaho families. Distribution will begin in the fall of 2005.
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