Archive for August 2009
Hamburg, NY – The EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers Center Director in Hamburg, Kim Stewart, issued a very special challenge to her summer campers in late June: if they could read a certain number of books by the end of the summer, she would cut off her hair and donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in North America suffering from long-term medical hair loss.
“We created a gigantic paper gumball machine and sent home paper gumballs to every family,” said Stewart. “For every book the children read with their parents, they wrote their name and the book title on a gumball, then brought it in to add to the machine.”
The children responded enthusiastically and filled the entire gumball machine within six weeks. On August 11, the entire center gathered to watch as teacher Kaylee Lezar braided and cut off 11 inches of Stewart’s hair.
“The kids were clapping with excitement and so proud of their accomplishment,” said Stewart. “This experience has led to continuing conversations about the power of giving, how each of us can work together to make a big difference, and how reading makes anything possible.”
Exposing your child to language and images, early and often, is one of the easiest ways to set him on the road to reading success. By reading to him, keeping books, magazines, and even newspapers accessible to him, you will see him build the skills he’ll need when he begins to learn how to read.
Four Key Steps:
Encourage your children.
• Look at books on their own
• Talk about stories they know
• Answer easy questions
• Retell familiar stories
• Talk about pictures
Show them that what they say about stories and pictures can be written and read.
Play with language.
• Give them easy riddles
• Figure out familiar sequences
• Ask what comes next
• Help tell a story
• Make up a silly story
• Make up a silly song
• Listen to and enjoy rhymes
• Make up silly rhymes
Use what they know already.
• Share the sequence of their day
• Talk about things they know
• Talk about self and others in photos
• Tell about things that they have to do
• Begin to plan
• Talk about things they remember
• Sort familiar things by category
Great Signs of Progress:
• Recognize their name in print
• Recognize other familiar, meaningful words in print
• Begin to recognize single symbols and letters
• Show interest in many print materials
• Pretend to write
• Learn about sending mail
• Match pictures with words
• Show interest in letters and print
• Print name and a few letters but not always perfectly
• Label objects
• Draw a picture for a word
• Recognize personal information
• Associate sounds with letters
Make Literacy Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director