Children’s Book Week begins on April 30. In its 99th year, this is our country’s longest running national literacy initiative. Children’s Book Week is administered by the Children’s Book Council, “Every Child a Reader,” a non-profit organization devoted to instilling a life long love of reading in our nation’s children.
As I have written in prior columns, reading is very important. It truly is the foundation of learning and critical to many other academic skills. In addition to helping our children learn how to read, It is important that teachers, parents, and others promote and encourage a love of reading. Here are a few ideas parents and others can use to help children develop a passion for reading.
1. Let children choose their own books to read. Sometimes, children may not select a book that you think they should be reading but keep in mind, that children are more likely to read and enjoy reading if they are able to pick a book that they like.
2. Let children pick “easy” books if that is what they want. By selecting a book that is easy to read, a child begins to develop confidence in their ability to read. If children feel successful when they read, they are more likely to want to read.
3. Set aside time for reading. Turn off the computer, video games, and the TV and have “family reading time”. Another idea is to allow children an extra 15 or 30 minutes of time beyond their regular bedtime as long as they are reading.
4. Have plenty of books and other reading material available for children. We are fortunate in Huber Heights to have a library that is full of a variety of excellent children’s books. These books cover a wide range of interests and reading levels. Regular visits to the library help your child see that reading is both a priority and an enjoyable activity.
5. Let children see you reading. When adults in the home are reading, children have role models to follow and they learn to view reading as an important life long activity.
Our staff members are working hard to help children grow into life-long readers. However, we need the help and support of our families if our students are going to develop a true love of reading and choose to read in their free time. Celebrate National Children’s Book Week by taking your child to our Huber Heights Library and helping them select books to read at home. As always, if you have questions about our schools, please contact me at the Administrative Offices (237-6300) or through e-mail at Susan.Gunnell@huberheightscityschools.org.