What we love most about a library’s summer reading program is that it brings the community together.
Everyone has the same goal, which is to read, of course. And no matter what you read or how you read it (listening to audio books, e-reading, shared reading), everyone can participate and be included.
Children with special needs may not always feel like they are included during the school year. During the summer at the library, though, barriers are broken down and all children are invited to participate.
For families with children with special needs who may not always feel included in other parts of the community, this is essential.
For all these reasons, make it a goal this summer to get your child their first library card. Introduce your child to the children’s librarian and tell her/him about your child. Librarians love using their skills to help students develop a love of books. A library card is free to any member of the community (unless you live in an unincorporated area of a township) whether you rent or own your home.
Here are some tips for parents after you have gotten your child’s library card!
It is perfectly acceptable for you to read your child books that she has already read. In fact, one of the fastest ways to build reading fluency is to read a book slightly below grade level, three separate times. Not sure if a book is too difficult? Use the 5-finger rule. If your child mispronounces 5 or more words on a page, the book is too hard for him.
Reading aloud is one of the most important things parents can do with their children. Reading aloud builds many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary, provides a model of fluent, expressive reading, and helps children recognize what reading for pleasure is all about.
Reading aloud helps babies and young children learn comprehension and improves listening skills. Kids can experience books outside of their reading level, and you can introduce new topics when you read to them. Adults can even get in on the fun with the rise in popularity and availability of e-books.
Children who enjoy being read to at a young age tend to become more confident readers later in life. They associate reading with enjoyment and continue to build on those foundational skills. Books expose children to more structured, formal grammar over everyday speech. It also improves vocabulary for children just learning to talk, no matter their age. Reading aloud to your children prepares them for school and beyond.
As you can see, reading aloud to children is well worth the investment!