I'm starting this blog just as my new website is nearing completion. Today has been a wonderful day, talking with volunteers and early childhood experts about an initiative I'm working on for United Way. You never know where the Literacy Ambassador® will be going next but you can be sure she will be lighting the spark and fanning the flame of literacy at every turn.
Who is the Literacy Ambassador®? Visit my website at www.readingisforeveryone.org to find out! You can also get to know me by reading my tidbits, posted each week:
We've said "read with your child" so much that it has almost lost meaning. Those parents who already do so will continue to respond positively. What about those who don't know how to (but are embarrassed to admit it) or those who have never been read to in their lives?
Instead talk with those families about relationships with their children - that's meaningful to them.
Sitting down with a book and talking together about it (children birth through around age 8 or so) is a great way to start. Once a child is an "independent reader" or too old for the "snuggle and cuddle thing", it has to be about reading something meaningful to that child and that may be instructions on the latest video game, a soccer manual, IM from their friends.
Becoming a competent reader takes time and practice, an over and over again thing so the more we can get kids motivated to read ANYTHING, the better reader they are going to be. I love what Marilyn J. Adams, a reading expert says, "... in our society, their life will depend upon it [meaning reading].
A generation or so ago, reading at a lower level wasn't a big deal. Now, the literacy challenges are more complex, greater than even the adult population today experienced. Kids will be lost without those skills. We've got to make reading a tool for life!