I was putting the finishing touches on a Powerpoint presentation about early literacy when this image popped into my social media feed. I smiled at the image of this teeny-tiny reader (not just because she was reading a book I gave her) who is already well on her way to being a literate member of our society. Just a couple of months ago she was a teeny-tiny preemie figuring out how to coordinate breathing, eating and sleeping; however, now, as she sits nestled in her Momma's loving embrace, she is reaping the benefits of the gift all babies need no matter what the circumstances of their birth: parents (and grandparents) who talk, sing, and read with her.
The list of must have's for new parents is a long as the Mississippi and the controversies as to the best way to clothe, feed, diaper, bathe, entertain, train, sleep-train, potty-train, educate and otherwise care for little ones have fueled not only Great Debates among parents but also epic Mommy and Daddy Wars! Yet, there is one thing we can all agree that all babies need!
Parents and Caregivers Who
Talk, Sing, and Read With Them
- Early learning experiences are a critical element in life long learning for all of us.
- Early book reading experiences lay the foundation for enjoying stories and learning.
- Early book reading experiences lay the foundation for concepts about print, grammar and syntax.
- Children born "too soon" as well as children born "on time" need caregivers who not only talk and sing with them but who also read and write with them.
- It is never too early to start reading with children! If you did not start before they were born or have not yet started, start today!
- While your newborn may not understand the words, hearing your voice stimulates an interest in sounds, talking and the rhythm of language.
- The images and colors in books stimulate the brain.
- Later, reading stimulates imagination, language, and communication skills.
- Repeated readings of favorite stories helps children internalize a sense of story.
- The interactions between the child and the reader is critical to getting the most our of the experience.
- Talk about books before and after reading.