from Elizabeth Bonin, MLA, CALT
Fort Worth Academy Reading Specialist
and Kathy Uhr
Fort Worth Academy Head of Lower School
Recommended blog for parenting tips on raising readers; recommended books, activities:
Online books and reading: Epic4Kids
Access great resources and take the 21-Day Read Aloud Challenge on the ReadAloud.org website:
Summer Picture Book Reading List suggestions:
Grades 1 thru 4
A FWAmily that reads together, grows together!
Reading aloud is, according to the landmark 1985 report Becoming a Nation of Readers, "the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading."
- Children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills and go to school better prepared.
- "Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent," concluded a 2008 review in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
- In other words, reading that bedtime story may not only entertain and soothe your child, it may also develop his or her vocabulary, improve his or her ability to learn to read, and (perhaps most important) foster a lifelong love of books and reading.
- Developing that passion for reading is crucial, according to Jim Trelease, author of the best-seller, The Read-Aloud Handbook. "Every time we read to a child, we're sending a 'pleasure' message to the child's brain. You could even call it a commercial, conditioning the child to associate books and print with pleasure."
- This reading "commercial" is critical when competition for a child's attention is so fierce. Between television, movies, the internet, video games and myriad after-school activities, the pleasures of sitting down with a book are often overlooked, and that can have long-term consequences.
- As Mr. Trelease succinctly puts it in his handbook, "Students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest. Conversely, those who don't read much cannot get better at it."