Maryvale Celebrates Read Across America Day

Posted by Maryvale on Mar 2, 2024 10:00:00 AM


Do you remember the days of sounding out words and reading aloud in class? Whether you’re a proud bookworm or casual reader, reading plays a powerful role in all of our lives. That’s why we’re thrilled to recognize Read Across America Day, an important touchstone that helps us reflect on the importance of books in children’s lives. Children can start to read independently by age seven or eight. Beyond these years, reading skills are important to a child’s ability to succeed in school and throughout their lives. In our view, it is never too early to start building a healthy relationship between children and books and to pique their interest early in the imaginative worlds of stories and tales that can teach them about themselves and the world around them. Regular exposure to reading sets the stage for future literacy success. Children who are read to from an early age develop strong literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension, which are crucial for academic achievement. 


As parents, you play a vital role in nurturing your child's reading habits and instilling a lifelong passion for books. Read on for creative and engaging ways for parents to observe Read Across America Day with their children, fostering a love for literature that will last a lifetime.


Make Reading Part of Everyday Life


To bring a reading habit into the household:

  1. Dedicate a comfortable and inviting space in your home dedicated to reading.
  2. Add soft cushions, blankets, and shelves filled with a variety of books to inspire your child's imagination.
  3. Keep the space stocked and refreshed with age-appropriate books as your child grows up.
  4. Integrate reading into your daily routines by setting aside time for story sessions. Whether it's before bedtime, during meals, or as part of a morning ritual, consistency is key to building reading habits.

Children can take an active role in sustaining their reading journey by sharing their reading interests with you. Take regular trips to the library with your child to explore a wide range of books. Libraries offer a wealth of resources, from picture books to chapter novels, and often host special events and storytime sessions.


As you grow your child’s literary understanding, choose books that showcase diverse characters, cultures, and experiences. Reading stories from different perspectives helps broaden your child's knowledge of the world and fosters empathy and inclusivity.


Reading Aloud To Your Child 


Reading aloud to children has several benefits – some are obvious, and others might surprise you! Reading aloud instills a love of books and reading in children from an early age. It cultivates a positive association with reading as an enjoyable and rewarding activity, laying the foundation for a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure.


Children grow in their ability to think and build upon their cognitive capacity when adults read aloud to them. Opening a book, reading aloud at a pace that young children can follow, and showing children the book’s pictures helps a child form thoughts and memories. Reading aloud exposes children to a rich and diverse vocabulary, helping them acquire new words and phrases. This exposure enhances their language skills, including pronunciation, comprehension, and communication.


Additionally, listening to stories stimulates a child's imagination and cognitive abilities. It encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity as children engage with the plot, characters, and themes of the story.


Have you ever found yourself explaining a story or picture to a child while reading aloud? As it happens, this act of ‘talking around’ a book may be even more valuable than reading aloud to a child. An adult’s additional commentary helps children connect what is happening in the book and what they experience in their everyday lives. It gives children key context to make sense of what is happening within a story and helps them feel like reading is an interactive activity rather than a passive one. 


Sharing a book creates a special bond between children and their caregivers. It provides a nurturing and intimate experience that fosters emotional connection, empathy, and a sense of security. 


Reading Contributes to a Rich Inner World 


Stories ignite children's imaginations and inspire creativity. They transport children to magical worlds, historical eras, and fantastical adventures, sparking curiosity and wonder. Whether your child is reading a book independently or listening to you read to them, reading allows them to sit still, practice some self-discipline, and focus on the words of a story. Making reading a fun, integrated activity that happens every day at home can promote a longer attention span and a sense of self-discipline, which are highly beneficial when a child enters school. For many children, the reward of this focus is the freedom to explore their imaginations while reading or being read to. The more a child dreams big and develop a sense of creativity, the better they will feel at expressing themselves as they grow up. 


At Maryvale, our Early Childhood Education program integrates reading activities in several ways through our Creative Curriculum. We introduce fundamentals such as recognizing letters and numbers, building awareness of sounds and some written words, and story time. Here are some of our favorite age-appropriate books for children at all stages of their development.


Topics: Read Across America