Kids Connection

by Sheri Johnson-Horsley

Salida School District

At the Salida Early Childhood Center, one of our overarching goals for children is literacy.

We know that children are born ready to learn, and research has shown us that the No. 1 indicator of school success for a child is their literacy level.

Learning to read and enjoying it is a progression that begins at birth and continues throughout one’s life. Reading to your children, starting when they are infants, will not only draw them into the imaginative world of stories, it will also create readers – something your children, as adults, will one day be extremely grateful for.

November is National Family Literacy Month, and we kick it off by encouraging families to read aloud to their children for 15 minutes each day. Reading aloud to a child will increase their vocabulary, imagination and love of learning.

Oral or spoken language is the foundation for literacy development, and a child’s environment makes the greatest impact on a child’s attitude toward reading. Parents who read aloud to their child each day are making a difference in their child’s life. Simply put, they are growing their child’s brain. (Check out ReadAloud.org for more info.)

If you wish to stimulate and enhance your young child’s learning, show your child that you enjoy reading, that it is a fun activity to do together. Incorporating different voices while reading stories, acting stories out or even listening together to a story being read aloud – such as those on storylineonline.net – are examples of ways to enhance the experience for both you and your child.

Looking to spend quality time with your child? Snuggle up on the couch together on a Saturday morning reading books together, and guaranteed it will become a cherished family activity for years to come.

Sheri Johnson-Horsley is family services coordinator for Salida School District R-32-J.