Literacy Skills

Building Literacy Skills

According to the International Reading Association, “the single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

In addition, as parents, we know that reading to our children is crucial in their overall development as well as their future success in school.

We know that we must be role models for our children, and expose them to as much print as possible even from the earliest age. Ms. Heather discussed this topic with The Rhode Show. Watch the segment here.

What age should I begin reading to my child?

  • Research shows that reading to a fetus in the womb can actually stimulate brain development. It is pretty safe to say that it is never too early to begin reading to your child. However, it is important that you choose age appropriate material to read to your child, as well as understand how and what to read to your young reader.

Why is reading aloud to my child so important?

  • Reading aloud presents books as sources of pleasant, valuable, and exciting experiences. Children who value books are motivated to read on their own.
  • Reading aloud gives children background knowledge, which helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read. The more adults read aloud to children, the larger their vocabularies will grow and the more they will know about the world and their place in it.
  • Reading aloud allows parents and teachers to be role models for reading. When children see adults excited about reading, they will catch their enthusiasm.
  • Reading aloud lets children use their imaginations to explore people, places, times, and events beyond.
  • Reading aloud provides children with the opportunity to discuss the text, make connections to the text, and opens the child’s imagination and cognitive skills to reach higher level thinking.

Why are Early Literacy Skills So Important?

  • Children introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age (American Academy of Pediatrics).
  • Reading, rhyming, singing, and talking — beginning from birth — profoundly influence literacy and language development, the foundations for all other learning (www.healthychildren.org).
  • More than 1 in 3 American children start Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read (American Academy of Pediatrics).
  • Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to learn to read. Children who enter school with these skills have an advantage that carries with them throughout their school years. However, more than 1 in 3 American children enter Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read (American Academy of Pediatrics). Reading is an essential skill for success in school and later in life.

Advocacy and Early Literacy Skills:

  • Here at the Children’s Workshop, reading is a fundamental piece of our curriculum. We believe children learn through exploration and play, and reading supports this learning. We encourage children of all ages to explore books. Additionally, our teachers intentionally select high quality texts to integrate into daily routines and lesson planning to support student learning.
  • At the Children’s Workshop we also really value literacy and put an emphasis on early language and literacy skills so it is a natural fit for us to participate in the RI Reads Campaign. By promoting early literacy skills in our high quality environments, we believe that in cooperation with families, community partners, and key stakeholders, we can work together to improve our state’s third grade reading levels.

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