“Get Caught Reading” Month

Monday, May 21, 2012

Learning to read changed my life forever. Even before I was old enough to attend school, I would “pretend read” books I found around our house, longing for the day I could understand the words on the page. My first grade teacher, Doris Alber, opened that door for me. By second grade I was a regular at our local library, often losing myself for an entire afternoon in a book. To this day I still get lost in books, and what a lovely way to get lost! Research shows that early language experience helps kids’ brains to grow. Reading to very young children helps them to absorb the sound and structure of language. They can begin to make those vital connections between language and communication. The poet and writer James Baldwin said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Kids who see the adults around them reading (and enjoying it) are more likely to be eager readers themselves. On the other hand, if reading is seen as a chore to be avoided, kids will pick up on that cue as well. Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. May is Get Caught Reading month, but the campaign is promoted throughout the year. Get Caught Reading is supported by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Launched in 1999, "Get Caught Reading" is the brainchild of former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAP, the industry association representing book publishers. She saw the opportunity to spread the word about the joys of reading through an industry-supported literacy campaign. So what can you do to promote reading? Here are a few ideas: • Read to children from the time they are born! The sound of your voice helps little brains grow. • Find books and magazines that are fun and interesting for you. Let the kids in your life see you enjoy reading. You can influence them without saying a word. • Get familiar with your local library. Take your kids there regularly. If you need suggestions for reading material for the kids, ask the library staff. They are always happy to help. • Talk with your kids about the books they are reading. Find out what excites them. • Take time to act out favorite books with your kids, using puppets, dolls or yourselves as the actors. For more information on Get Caught Reading, go to http://www.getcaughtreading.org/

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