As I mentioned in an earlier post, every Tuesday, I head over to the day care center across the street from my school. I am a member of Read Aloud DE. What do I do? I read. I read for about an hour to eager 3, 4 and 5 year olds. They are thrilled when the Reading Lady comes, and I am just as delighted as they are! We sit for about 5-10 minutes, enjoying a good story.
Yesterday I read “The Silly Goose” to six students about 3 or 4 years old. As I read the book to each of them, I became more and more aware of the differences in language development. In terms of age, they are within days and months of each other, but the differences were distinct. There was a child who could only mimic my words,not really knowing what they meant. Opposed to the child who could already think critically, and figure out that the goose could not possibly make its nest in the cats’ drawer. I know their home environment has a lot to do with their development. I could probably pick out the child who has books at home, who has conversations with adults, and has educational toys very easily. But this post is not about blame.
I want to thank those out there in the trenches that are working with our babies, exposing them to books, the alphabet, their numbers. Programs like Read Aloud DE, who take teaching our young seriously, and take it a step further by encouraging and advising parents on what they can do to help their children. To all the day care centers that also step up and educate our babies in fun and innovative ways, like the center where I read. They always have some fun, educational, activity going on!
I have been reading at my day care center for a year. Yesterday I read to a little boy, who, when he started, could only make unintelligible noises. Yesterday, he was pointing to and naming the animals on the farm. Wow! What would have happened to this little boy without their help? Within the past year, I have witnessed tremendous growth in the kids I have read to. Think of how much more prepared they will be to enter school because they have acquired the basic foundation, and possibly, a love for reading!
“Bravo!”to all who are working to get our little ones ready for school, ready for Kindergarten, ready for life!