Writing my way through the school year!

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!

Comments on: "Early Literacy:The Key to Unlocking Illiteracy?" (4)

  1. What you are doing is a worthy and noble effort. I know from my years teaching elementary school that children who get to listen to their parents or other adults read to them regularly become better readers .

    Your observations about the differfences in readiness are valid and important too. These naturally occurring differfences put the lie to NCLB and Race to the Top.

  2. Reading and cooking are best friends!

  3. Thank you! I teach 11th and 12th grade English, and as one can imagine, the differences by the time they get to me are profound, and at times, even heart-breaking.

  4. I’ve taught high school English and it’s always readily apparent which students come from environments that value literacy skills or that encountered enrichment somewhere along the line. While literacy skills can be sharpened at any age, early literacy skills are a must. As for me, I grew up being read aloud to by my sister who is 9 years older than me. That has made all the difference in the reader, writer, and thinker that I develped into over the years. I owe her a lot.

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