Kids are born ready to learn, but many of them reach school and struggle. Research has identified skills children must have in order to be ready to learn to read. Adults—especially parents and caregivers—are the best ones to teach those skills.
The library offers adults the best ways to teach our children with story time classes, workshops, and activities that are happening every day, all day at the library.
Walk into the Cedar Lake branch anytime of the day and you will find many activities going on - lots of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM), along with early literacy activities.
And all this learning & teaching is a lot of fun. We encourage parents to play with their children—helping them develop higher thinking and language skills.
Sing with children—helping them hear smaller sounds in words while learning new vocabulary. Write (and color and craft) with children—writing and reading develop side by side.
Read with children—helping them learn every early literacy skill they need to know, especially when we make it interactive.
Talk with children—it's key to helping children be ready.
It all takes time and energy, but words are free. Children who begin school knowing far fewer words than others are the ones to struggle to learn.
Children who succeed in school hear lots of talk—and are engaged in conversations many, times each day. By age 3, those children with talkative parents have heard 30 million more words than children with parents who don't talk as much. That gap makes all the difference between children who learn and those who struggle.
When parents "Sing, Play, Write, Read, and Talk" with their children, they are using the best methods research has shown help teach them. The library teaches parents the best ways to use these methods to teach the skills children need to know.
The national research-based program we use is Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library—ECRR. Want to learn more, along with some great fun activities? Visit www.lcplin.org/kids/Every-Child-Ready-to-Read.html.
This month's Lake County Public Library column was written by Linda Johnsen, Cedar Lake branch librarian, for the Lake County Public Library, 10010 W. 133rd Ave. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
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