Notes from Amber and Tracey, Co-Directors of Education
October is recognized as Reading Awareness month, and we'd like to celebrate by informing you about early literacy - why it's important and what you can do at home to support this critical part of your child’s development.
Research has shown that a child's academic success at ages 9 and 10 is closely related to the amount of talk they hear from birth to age 3. Literacy development begins at birth by just hearing sounds in the environment. These early social language experiences help shape the architecture of a child's developing brain. So it’s important to talk to your child, a lot, from birth on!
Parents and teachers can help ensure children’s future success by reading to them regularly and sharing social literacy experiences with them. Book sharing increases the amount and richness of language children hear, which in turn builds their vocabulary and the amount of spoken language they understand.
When a child, even as young as infancy, sits in his or her parent’s lap and looks at, talks about, or listens to a book being read, something magical happens. We know that in the brain, “neurons that fire together wire together.” This means that when parents and children share books together the child’s love for their parent becomes associated with a love of literature and reading they carry forth to the time when they begin learning to read and write themselves.
One way we promote early language and literacy development at Peninsula is through participating in Multnomah County Library’s Raising a Reader program. Each week you will find a red book bag in your child’s cubby. These books, provided by the library, are for you to take home and read together. The following week you will return them and get a different book bag. We hope every family will take advantage of this opportunity to build your child’s language, literacy and future success. Please ask your child’s teacher what day the red book bags in your class will come home and what day they need to be returned.
Of course, we also focus on early language and literacy throughout the day as part of our curriculum here at Peninsula. Our teachers and Foster Grandmothers do an excellent job of reading with your child here at school, and we are lucky to have Cricket, our Multnomah County Librarian, provide storytelling at Peninsula monthly. Mr. Ben's weekly music and movement sessions with the children also supports language development.