Reading to children at a young age promotes literacy development, social and emotional well-being, and academic success. Read Across America was developed to build a nation of readers. Over 45 million people, young and old, participate in this annual awareness program. The National Education Association website offers more information on activities you can engage in to bring reading excitement to your kids. The National Education Association is the largest professional organization for educators and school administrators establishes on March 2, 1998. The mission was to encourage and motivate children to read. The program invites all children to celebrate reading on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
Schools, libraries, book stores, and children’s museums host events in an effort to promote reading. Check your community for sponsored events.
I began reading to my son shortly after we came home from the hospital. It was part of his bedtime routine. I started with Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Even though he was barely 2 weeks old, I enjoyed the bonding we shared – in addition to breastfeeding, of course. To help develop his gross motor skills, I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. He was definitely drawn to the bright colors as well as the varied page widths. I think he enjoyed being able to turn the page; well, at six months, he did the best he could. I enjoy reading with my son – I love reading myself – and, like most parents, I can recite Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See by Eric Carle by heart. One of my favorite children’s book is Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch. I love the story and the illustration. It’s a very clever book. I am addicted to buying my son books, new and used. We go to library book sales religiously. Now, in addition to reading books, he reads on the iPad. It definitely has a different feel to it. Regardless, I hope his interest and passion for reading will last his lifetime.