I love to read. I can’t remember when I didn’t. I don’t remember if it was my mom, dad or older siblings who read to me as a child. My guess is it was probably all of them -even if they didn’t volunteer for the job.
I do remember the library summer reading program and the thrill of marking off each book read. The Mrs. Pickerell series, Little Women, Black Beauty. My mom made sure I had a library card and hauled me back and forth so I could look through the stacks. I still go to the library – as does she.
Reading to little ones is still one of my favorite things. Curling up on the couch, the sound of a sweet voice finishing a sentence or phrase as you read a favorite book for the 87th time, getting busted for turning an extra page to hurry bed time along. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Story of Ferdinand. Good stuff.
The first years of a child’s life are critical to their brain development and future achievement. Reading to a child is fundamental to their development. At Talbert House, our clinicians and staff who work with children, adolescents and their families in local schools support kids in their academic achievement. (Project PASS/Project STEPS) Along with our affiliate, Centerpoint Health, our staff work on behavioral issues, coach families on how to advocate for their children, connect them to resources. We help children and parents recognize warning signs to prevent children from becoming involved with drugs and alcohol and provide treatment for those struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues. Helping children be successful in school is important but it is no secret that kids need to be able to read to achieve success in their lives.
Schools can’t do it alone.
We can all help children build a solid foundation early in life. One easy step is as simple as reading 15 minutes a day. Parents, babysitters, aunts, brothers, any caring person in a child’s life. March 26 was recently proclaimed “Read Aloud 15 Minutes: Every child, Every parent, Every day” by the Mayor of Cincinnati as part of National Reading Awareness Month.
What can you do?
If you haven’t been to the library lately, check out the nearest branch. You may be surprised at all the books, music, movies and services that are available, and all for free. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, Curious George, Little Women, Harry Potter. Make a commitment to read to your child 15 minutes a day. Or help a struggling parent and offer to give them a break and read to their child. Get involved through organizations like United Way and become a volunteer reader.
15 minutes. Free books. So what is your excuse?
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” -National Education Association