Celebrate Reading

ReadingRead, Read, Read.  Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss’ birthday and World Read Aloud Day, all have taken place the first week in March.  So, in honor of celebrating reading, we are highlighting a book you can read with your kids.  Goodnight Moon is a great classic book to read with your pre-kindergarten child.  Point to each object as you read the word to engage the child with the book.  Also try pointing to objects in the book to see if the child can “read” what the object is. Ask questions and make up stories for each page, building excitement with your child!


United Way of East Central Iowa is proud to celebrate reading and furthering education in our community.  However, our commitment to early literacy must be every day of the year and run deeper than a single day or weeks’ worth of celebration.   In our community, one out of four of our 4th graders aren’t reading at grade level, meaning they are four times as likely to drop out of high school later on.  Kids who don’t read well by 3rd or 4th grade tend to fall farther behind, as they transition from learning to read – to reading to learn.   (Iowa Department of Education) http://www.iowaschoolprofiles.com/profileschart.asp?t=d&f1=1&f2=1&f3=1&s0=10530000

Helping kids read well can help us close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, support our local economy and build a strong community.  As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child” and families, schools and communities need to start working together.  We have the power to change our nation’s future if we work together to help struggling readers in elementary school.  All of us can be part of the solution. You can read out loud to your child, or grandchild, tonight. You can volunteer to read to kids in your local child care center, or elementary school.  You can volunteer as a tutor or mentor, speak up at your local school board meeting, or donate books to your local library or after school program.   Visit here for volunteering opportunities www.unitedwayofeastcentraliowa.org/volunteer

To help you get started, here are some great reading tips to use with your pre-kindergarten aged, child:

play-and-learn-jan-2012-3Reading Nooks:

How to play: Make your house reading friendly. Keep children’s books all around the house.

No shelves needed: Baskets and buckets work. Make sure that the books are easy for your child to reach.

FUN TIP: If you get age-appropriate magazines or catalogs, leave them in your child’s spot at the table for the child to find at his or her next meal.

 Names and Letters:

How to play: Pick one letter in your child’s name. Say the letter, write it down, and trace it on your child’s hand. Show him or her the letter on signs, books, or labels.

Eye spy: Ask your child to point out the letter when she or he spots it during the day.

FUN TIP: When she or he shows you the letter, repeat it and read the word: “J—juice.”

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