Helping Kids Get Ready to Read
It's long been known that reading to kids early and often can impact their development as readers and thinkers. A recent study, published in the May/June 2012 issue of Child Development, illuminates a simple strategy to help kids make the transition from listening and looking at pictures to becoming readers.
The study's researchers found that most preschoolers who were not yet reading tended to ignore the print in books - no big surprise there. However, when preschool teachers spent a minute or two pointing out the words in a book during circle time, the children began to regularly pay attention to the print as well as the pictures. The researchers tracked these children for several years and found that they learned to read earlier and more easily than children whose preschool teachers had regularly shared books but had not drawn their attention to the printed words. The increased levels of reading success continued through early elementary school.
How does being made aware of the print on a page help children learn to read? The act of pointing out the words in books helps children understand that reading is linked to written words. Kids need to grasp this concept before they can learn to read, so the earlier they start noticing written words, the better. If you want to help a little one become a strong reader, point out letters and words everywhere, especially in the books you read together!
Want more information on early learning?
Talk to a librarian. KCPL's Youth Services staff members regularly attend professional training on early learning and early literacy. Just as importantly, they are enthusiastic advocates for reading with children and do it themselves each week at story time.
Investigate the resources on KCPL's website. We maintain a page for Parents that includes book recommendations, tips for reading with children, and excellent learning and literacy links.
Check out books and early learning kits. KCPL's collection includes resources for parents and early learning kits for kids. Use the My Account feature of the catalog to place a hold and we'll let you know when the item you want is available. (Need help with My Account? All the details are here!)