Dear Children’s Center Families,
One of the specific programs that drew me to wanting to be part of the Center when I was interviewing was the Family Literacy Nights. My studies in education the past four years have been mostly centered around early literacy and language arts. I am a huge advocate for early reading intervention and was fortunate to be mentored by a reading specialist when I worked with kindergarteners prior to coming to the Center.

Some of my earliest memories are reading with my mother and getting to pick out a Golden Book once a month from the spinner at the grocery store. I was and still am a voracious reader, and from the very beginning, read to my son. He had a little book shelf and as a toddler, I would often find him “reading” his little picture books. That said, learning to read did not come easily for him. In fact, Christopher was the beneficiary of Title 1 services in the 3rd and 4th grade, which helped him tremendously with his fluency at that point in his reading development. Our challenge now, is finding young adult books that really interest him and are appropriate – which at almost 14 is not easy.

If I could have one wish come true, it would be that every child has access to books and develops a love for reading. The reality is, developing such a love begins at home. Some of the best tips I have found include:

• It is never too early. Reading can be a wonderful bonding activity for you and your baby.
• Make reading a routine – whether it is right before breakfast or right before bed, set aside a special time to read with your child every day.
• Model reading yourself. From magazines to books – if your child sees you reading, they will know that it is a valued activity.
• When your child starts reading, give lots of encouragement. Point to the pictures. Say the difficult words together. When you finish, ask your child about their favorite characters.
• Start a library of books for your child with his or her name in the books. Owning their own books is actually linked to increased school success for children.
If there is anything I can do to help with developing your child’s love of reading, please let me know!

P.S. And many thanks to Board Members Pam Hopkins, Peg Mongiello and Nancy Lentz for hosting our first Family Literacy Night on October 2! Our featured book was There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! by Lucille Colandro.

Happy Fall,