Parents instinctively know that reading to our children is a good idea, but don’t be surprised if on your next visit to the doctor, you hear your pediatrician “prescribe” a daily dose of read aloud for your child. That’s because it’s now a policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourage their member doctors to tell parents they should be reading aloud to their infants from birth.
Everyone likes a good snuggle with their child as they read a bedtime story, but now there is increased recognition that an important part of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child’s life. As such, pediatricians now join libraries as powerful advocates for reading aloud to enhance vocabulary and other important communication skills.
Washington-Centerville Public Library makes it easy for parents by offering storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Trained librarians select books appropriate for different ages (and attention spans), sing songs, blow bubbles and make reading an experience that children look forward to so they will want to do it more often.
In addition, online services like TumbleBooks offer parents a storytime solution without ever leaving home. Simply visiting the library’s kid’s website and entering in your library card number gives you access to hundreds of animated storybooks that provide a read aloud experience when mom and dad aren’t able to.
Let us not forget that the library also offers thousands of books and audios from which to choose. Selecting those books to read daily is half the fun and letting your child guide the selections often provides the best motivation for getting them excited to read them later. When reading is fun, children don’t even realize that they are actually building the skills necessary to become good students and future independent readers.
For more information on Washington-Centerville Public Library or to learn more about early literacy services, go online to www.wclibrary.info.
Georgia Mergler is community relations manager of the Washington-Centerville Public Library. She can be contacted by email at GMergler@wcpl.lib.oh.us.