One of my very first teaching mentors began the first day of school, with her kindergartners, with this message…
She started out by asking her students to raise their hand if they knew how to read. One, maybe two, raised their hands, while others blurted out, “I don’t know how to read!” or maybe they kept quiet and cautiously looked away. My first thoughts were, “Why would she ask this question of five and six year olds? This is way beyond typical reading development. Etc.” This is why…
She then shared a book with them; one that had pictures, and sometimes words, of familiar places. As she went along, turning page by page, the children promptly responded with “McDonald’s!” “Target!” “Home Depot!”
“You CAN read!” was her energetic response. By giving those children an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities, she began her installation of building excitement, confidence, and purpose; and was nurturing a love of reading.
Upon entering the preschool classroom, you likely will find that nurturing a love of reading is in abundance! Shelves, baskets, and tables are overflowing with books. Teachers are reading books aloud, both inside and outside. Children are reading with a friend or two. Or sometimes, children may be simply reading to themselves in a cozy corner. No matter where it happens or whom it is with, it is a beautiful thing.
In providing the preschool children with various engaging reading opportunities, we are setting up the groundwork for the path to a successful and positive literacy experience, one that is surely to last a lifetime.
Ways to encourage and support reading at home:
- Visit your local library! This is such a wonderful, free resource!
- Read aloud to your children everyday! Make it a part of your routine.
- Provide your child/ren with books on a kid-accessible bookshelf.
- Create an inviting cozy reading corner.