Friday, May 13, 2016

Shared reading, good for families, good for kids

It is well known that reading to children when they are young has powerful, positive impacts in childhood and beyond.   But did you know that "shared reading" is also important?

Shared reading, according to Reading Rockets,

is an interactive reading experience that occurs when students join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by a teacher. The teacher explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression.
But as Reading to your child: the difference it makes author Peggy Albers points out, high quality experiences in school are not sufficient.   Reading at home is also important.   Researchers have found, for example, "that when parents, specifically mothers, knew how to interact with their children during shared reading using positive reinforcement and asking questions about the story, both children and mothers benefited."

DC families with children from birth to age 5 have a tremendous advantage in many ways given the Books from Birth initiative designed to get and keep parents and other caregivers reading to the children in their lives.   Once parents register, children receive one free book every month until they turn five.   While the program does not talk about shared reading as such, Books from Birth has been integrated into Sing, Talk, and Read, the DC Public Library early literacy initiative.

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