The Children’s Aid Society Raises Readers
To kick off the New Year, The Children's Aid Society's Early Head Start expansion team became Raising a Reader affiliates. Raising a Reader is a national non-profit early literacy program that promotes daily “book cuddling” between children and their parents. Through these shared story experiences children develop a love of reading critical to school success. Over 20 evaluations of Raising a Reader have shown that the program has a significant positive effect on children’s early literacy skills, parent bonding and kindergarten readiness.
The program is simple. Raising a Reader rotates a set of bright red bags filled with award-winning children’s books into the homes of families on a weekly basis. On January 13th, Raising a Reader staff trained our Early Head Start family workers on how to implement and coordinate the program. Trainers also worked with staff in how to support parents in interactive reading techniques. Other tips (taken from the Raising a Reader Website) on how to make sharing books with your child a great experience includes:
- Snuggle up with your baby! The baby will feel secure from being close and hearing your voice.
- It is ok to let your baby touch and hold the book.
- Choose books with simple, clear pictures. Babies like faces and bold, high contrast pictures.
- Rhymes, songs and simple soothing text appeal to babies.
- Toddlers love book sharing—even if they do not sit still for long.
- Choose books that are predictable, repetitive, or encourage sound/movement.
- Encourage your toddler to make sounds and movement to describe the story!
- Toddlers take comfort in routine and repetition. Try to find a consistent time and/or place to share books.
- Offer a variety of books! Include counting books, alphabet books, and animal books.
- Your preschooler may want to ‘read’ to you—that’s great! Let them read (or tell) the story.
- Preschoolers love stories about friends and family.
You can learn more about Raising a Reader at: http://www.raisingareader.org/