Readers are leaders; it’s a known fact. As this picture of second graders reading with Dustin Martin (#21 on our Panther Team) illustrates, there is always something magical about Story Time (especially on game day around here!). Dustin is a football star on the field, but he talks with younger students about the importance of doing well in school, studying, and taking time out to read. Our students are blessed to have wonderful reading models like Dustin each Friday with our Panther Team Readers.
A language-rich and print-rich environment at school and at home are instrumental in building better readers, writers, listeners, and thinkers. The best way to promote strong reading skills, share a love of books, and just spend time together (as a model reader) occurs during Read-Alouds or Story Time. Want to spend time with your learner building reading skills and teaching a love of books? Here are some simple suggestions:
- Read regularly – try to read together daily, perhaps at bedtime (what I called rocker time when my girls were little). Read-alouds can be done on the way to soccer practice or while supper is cooking.
- Take turns choosing books together – old favorites are fun but learn to branch out some into new genres such as poetry, non-fiction, or biographies.
- Let the child participate and be playful – use different voices for different characters or substitute the child’s name for the main character along with family member names for other characters. Ask your child to turn pages or finish rhyming words in sentences for you.
The joy of reading is cultivated just like your favorite flower or herb in the garden. Reading is the foundation of everything we do at school; reading sets expectations for all future academic success. We are grateful to the many volunteers who spend valuable time in our classrooms as guest readers and leaders . . . and as Dustin knows from the football field to the classroom, readers are leaders! Go Panthers!