Family Literacy Day 

Come to the Whistler Public Library on Jan. 27 and observe Family Literacy Day. The Library will have a display of literacy related materials and informational brochures to pick up. There will also be a Family Story Time at 10:30 for caregivers and pre-school aged children to enjoy.

Research tells us that young children who participate in conversations, are read to regularly, have books in their home, and develop print awareness have a head start on reading and literacy skills when they enter school. Although family literacy often occurs naturally during daily routines in life, sometimes parents need extra ideas for helping their children to develop literacy skills.

The following are some tips for supplementing children's literacy development at home from infancy through high school.

• Infants. Infants learn from listening, observing, and following actions. Talk with your baby often, and answer his or her sounds. Play simple talking and touching games with your child, such as peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. Read to your baby.

• Toddlers. Continue to talk to your toddler often. When you read together, point to pictures, identifying them and asking your child to do the same. Ask your child questions that require more than a yes or no answer, and answer your child's questions, too.

• Preschoolers. Preschool teaches your child about letters, numbers, and making sense of text. Teach your child the alphabet song, look at alphabet books together, and practice writing the child's name. Continue to read together, and encourage your child's first efforts at scribble writing and "pretend reading."

• Kindergartners. Find out what your child is learning in school, and encourage the child to use the same skills at home. Read books together in which words are repeated and the story is easy to predict. Write with your kindergartner.

• Elementary school years. Continue to know what your child is learning in school, and let the teacher know that you are interested. Create opportunities in your home in which you are reading, writing, and learning together as a family. Take family trips to the library or bookstores.

• Middle school and high school years. Remain active in your child's school learning and provide opportunities that continue learning in the home. Continue to give your teenager gifts of writing materials and books, and talk together about the things you are reading. Communicate the importance of education.

Source: Reading Today, Apr/May 2001, vol.18 Issue 5, p28

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