Parents can help babies love books

Posted: Monday, April 13, 2009, 10:22 am

From daily storytimes to online songs and rhymes, early literacy is as important to Worthington Libraries as checking out books.

While it may not surprise you to learn that parents are the most influential factor in a child's development, including reading, did you know that before children learn to read, they must have six basic skills that will better prepare them? They do, and these skills make children more successful readers when they get to school.

To help parents learn about early literacy and really have an impact on their child's reading success, Worthington Libraries has scheduled a series of Ready to Read parent workshops this spring. Parents will learn games, songs and rhymes they can do with their children that will help them get ready to read.

"Educators tell us too many children are starting school without the skills they need to learn to read. We want to spread knowledge of some fun techniques parents can use with their children to help them develop the necessary skills," said Jo Wolfe, a youth services librarian for Worthington Libraries.

Many parents and caregivers are already instinctively using these skills, but these workshops will give participants some new ideas they can use to share and build early literacy skills."

Ready to Read parent workshops are scheduled May 5 and May 12 at Old Worthington Library. Both workshops start at 7 pm.

Although the programs are designed for adults, Wolfe said, "If parents need to bring children in order to attend, they're welcome to do so."

For those unable to attend the workshops, the Library also offers Early Literacy information online. Find out more about what you can do to improve your child's early literacy skills:

There are lots of ways you can help your child get ready to read, including letting your baby explore — even chew — books, asking your child to tell you about pictures in a book and singing rhyming songs like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."

For more ideas, be sure to attend a Ready to Read workshop or talk to one of the experts in the children's department of any Worthington Libraries location.

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