Reading as a Family: Read Together, Learn Together

February 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on Reading as a Family: Read Together, Learn Together
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Attend LCNV's Reading: A Family Affair on March 24, 2012

Who doesn’t remember the joy of curling up on the lap of a parent or grandparent to listen to a story? Or the trip to the local library for story-time? Or watching the faces of older siblings engrossed in a book and wishing you could be a part of their fascination?  Listening to stories and reading together is one of the simple joys of childhood. The Literacy  Council of Northern Virginia also knows that reading together as a family is a great learning opportunity. Children and their relatives discover different places, cultures, and individuals while reinforcing their literacy. Reading as a family also plays a vital role in a child’s development.

According to the National Center for Family Literacy:

  • Children’s reading scores improve dramatically when their parents are involved in helping them learn to read.
  • Low family income and a mother’s lack of education are the two biggest risk factors that hamper a child’s early learning and development.

Long before children enter school, early experiences with books build a strong foundation for learning. Incorporate reading as a regular activity in your child’s life. Choosing age appropriate books should be a consideration, but reading different texts is also beneficial. Poems, plays, and songs are great examples. Not only are they different forms of expression, but foster discussion. Even if a child doesn’t know how to read, give them the opportunity to engage with a book: let them hold the book; follow your finger as you read the text and then let them repeat it. This helps not only build a child’s experience with books, but makes him/her feel important and part of the activity.

Children become readers when their parents read to them. Reading together as a family is one of the main reasons adults come to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia to learn. I often hear variations of these inspirations:  “I wanted to be able to read to my granddaughter”;  “Becoming a father was my motivation to learn to read”;  “I want to help my child with her homework.” What could be a better incentive?   Sharing the joy of reading to a child, or listening to them reading their first book is a simple pleasure everyone should experience.

Patricia M. Donnelly
Executive Director
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866


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