We all know that a quality education begins with reading. In fact, kids who read proficiently by third grade are more likely to graduate high school. Yet, only 36% of fourth-grade students in the United States are proficient (or better) in reading according to National Assessment of Educational Progress. It’s a troubling statistic, one that can have dire consequences on an individual’s success in school, work and life.
In Guernsey, Monroe and Noble Counties, United Way of Guernsey, Monroe and Noble Counties is working to ensure all children start Kindergarten on a level playing field, equipped with the tools they need to succeed. We’re investing in childhood literacy programs like The Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which draws support from parents, pediatricians, school officials and many others. Our Women’s Initiative also encourages parents and caregivers to develop the habit of reading with kids daily beginning from birth and holds reading events throughout the year.
To help put your child on a path to success, here is how you can get started:
• Set aside at least 15 minutes every day for recreational reading. Spend time asking your child questions about the characters and illustrations, and put some passion into it!
• Make reading interactive. Children need various ways to respond to books. They can build comprehension by writing in journals, dramatizing scenes or creating works of art that bring the story to life. These interactions promote further appreciation of books and are a great way to make strong connections.
• Develop a rewards system. Engaged readers view books as the best reward. If we want children to be motivated readers who read for their own purposes, we need to rethink reward programs at home. If you use incentives, surprise your child with books for rewards instead of candy, prizes or points.
When children read better, they imagine more richly, develop more vocabulary and engage in critical thinking. You can also help nurture the love of reading by visiting the library with your child or creating a special place a home where you can read together.
Learn more about United Way of Guernsey, Monroe and Noble Counties by going to our website, Facebook or contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org 740-439-2667.
Portions of this article were taken from: Why Grade-Level Reading Matters More than You Think, Sergio Contreras, August 7 2018