Nashville Moms Blog is partnering with the Nashville Public Library to promote literacy and learning among babies and children in our city. As a part of this partnership, NPL is sponsoring a two-part giveaway of some awesome books. Today we’re back with our second giveaway, and this one is books for babies.
Our guest poster, Liz Atack works at Nashville Public Library where she helps brings book off the shelf and into the hands of Nashville’s children through the library’s literacy outreach program, Bringing Books to Life. In early 2014, Liz was named Toyota’s Family Teacher of the Year. Before coming to Nashville Public Library, Liz worked as a classroom teacher and as a museum educator.
A newborn baby is too young to do many things—eat on his own, master the concepts of sharing, choose just the right booties to match his onesie, and so much more. However, do you know what he’s not too young to do? Learn how to read. It’s true.
All children actually start learning to read from the moment they’re born. That’s because the things you do as a parent—both consciously and unconsciously—plant the seeds of reading.
The American Library Association (ALA) developed a literacy workshop for parents, called “Every Child Ready to Read,” that came out a few years ago. The Bringing Books to Life reading outreach team at Nashville Public Library uses it as the framework for our family literacy workshops.
According to ALA, you can do five things every day with your child to help get him ready to read from birth. The great thing is these things work no matter how old (or young) your child is!
Here are five wonderfully simple actions you can take now:
Talk. It’s important to surround your child with language from day one. Not sure what to say? Talk can be as simple as describing how you’re making lunch, talking about your day, or sharing a story from your childhood. Also, ask your child questions. Even if they can’t answer yet, giving kids a pause helps them think of their answer. One day, they’ll answer you, and you’ll have a bona fide conversation!
Read. Children’s author and literacy advocate Mem Fox says children must hear 1,000 stories before they can read. Reading is like eating vegetables or brushing your teeth: it should happen every day, more than once a day! If your child can’t sit still for more than a few pages, don’t fret. You can always pick a book up again on another day. The key is to keep reading time positive and to follow your child’s lead.
Sing. There’s a reason we sing so much to young children. Singing can be soothing (like a lullaby) or rollicking (like “The Wheels on the Bus”) … but it’s also a first lesson on syllables. We slow down our language when we sing, giving children time to understand what we’re saying. Can’t sing? Don’t worry! Your child LOVES your voice—even if you aren’t Grammy material.
Write. Your child won’t likely be able to write letters until he’s in preschool and learns to write his name. Still, give children ample opportunities to express themselves on paper as soon as they can hold a crayon. Let them see you write, and show them examples of how we communicate and express ourselves on paper.
Play. Children make sense of the world around them through play. It’s also how they learn to bond with others, cooperate, imagine, and tell their own stories. Giving your child unstructured play time is essential.
That’s it! I bet you do these things every day—you didn’t even realize you were actually teaching your child how to read!
Nashville Public Library has many resources to help you read and talk with your child, including traditional books, audiobooks, e-books, and even interactive, online books. You can borrow CDs or download and stream music to get singing and moving. Our programs throughout the city, for children of all ages, are sure to inspire play and imagination. Check us out at any of our 21 locations or online at www.library.nashville.org.
Our friends at the Nashville Public Library have generously donated five fabulous baby book for one of our readers! These books are sure you make reading to your little one a joy and a pleasure for you both. Get started today!
Enter to win below: