Friday, February 22, 2013

Catch the Reading Bug in Salt Lake

Help Me Grow (HMG) has attended a ton of library events lately! We've been crisscrossing Salt Lake County, going from story time to power play to get HMG into the community. All this library time has us thinking a lot about emergent literacy and cognitive development. Meaning, we've gotten pretty interested in how babies and toddlers start to associate with books before ever entering a classroom, and those initial feeling can turn out pretty important when they’re learning to read.

Good experiences with books, like just swinging a board book around and giggling, can affect your kids as much as a bad experience, like being scolded for trying to grab the book that mom is reading to him (Zero to Three). So, literacy’s not just about learning to read. It starts with being able to associate books with good feelings.

And guess how many ways there are to have fun building those good associations!? Just for starters, HMG has an info sheet dedicated to giving parents ideas to try while reading (seen below).

But of course, that’s not all our community has to offer.

Visit your local bookstore and see if there are any children’s authors visiting. What could be neater than finding a great book and meeting the person responsible in the same day? The Kings English Bookstore in Salt Lake City is hosting a children’s author Craig Farmer tomorrow (Saturday, February 23) at 11:00 a.m. If you can’t make it to that, they've got more author visits in March.

Not in the mood for going out? Visit the State Library website for activities involving talking, singing, reading, writing and playing with your kids to support literacy. You can also start tracking the amount of reading you do with your kids through KSL’s Read Today program. Make it a game to try an beat your highest number of minutes spent reading month to month!

Keep an eye on the Governor’s Commission on Literacy for great recommendations about which book to pick next. The Governor’s Commission on Literacy picks books that have been donated to school libraries across the state. If you’re not quite to the school library system yet,  take a look at the Salt Lake County Library website to find a library and story time near you!

How do you try to support literacy with your kids?

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