A Gift For Life
To every mother and father,
and gran and grandpa, too.
Here’s an important message
that’s meant just for you.
If you want the child in
your life to get ahead.
You need to expand his mind.
You need to feed what’s in his head.
Read aloud to your child
every day of your life.
Read stories about anything,
even those that are fantastic and wild.
You’ll build his vocabulary.
Help him to think.
He’ll be able to visualise
and become very wise.
As readers are leaders,
help him become one, too.
Let him learn of this.
Let him learn of that.
Start reading him a story.
Begin right now.
One word at a time.
Whether it’s prose,
or whether it’s rhyme,
you’ll give him a gift for a lifetime.
PS. I didn’t mean to offend.
I truly did not.
Don’t think of me as a beast
as this doesn’t come least:
If your child is a girl,
of course you’ll read just
as much to her, too.
© Andrew Pender-Smith
This attractive photo was used for the cover of ‘Singing and Clapping’ a story for children in the 7-9 age-group. ‘Singing and Clapping’ sees Linda the potato who loves everything pink, Sylvester the carrot with long purple hair, and Big Bruce the blue balloon share another adventure. The story is the second in the ‘Be Brave’ series. The first story is called ‘Floating into Happiness’. Both stories can be found on Amazon Kindle.
Singing and Clapping – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765RB1QH
To find out how these three characters came into being, you can scroll down to visit an earlier post called ‘Creating Characters from Objects’.
To those involved in the arts, ‘Happy Creating’.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Joseph Addison
The first part of this discussion was published on the 26th of June 2017.
How you can help: Donate books to schools, libraries, families and individuals. CD’s, DVD’S and even computers, laptops and iPads are also welcome donations when institutions cannot afford them. I know of individuals and service clubs who pay for internet connection in instances when schools and children’s homes cannot afford it.
Read and tell stories to young children with whom you are in contact. Sing to them and teach them songs. Include actions when possible. Volunteers at children’s homes, hospitals and under-privileged schools are most often greatly welcomed. Readership, which mean a love of stories and learning through them, starts from the youngest of ages and it includes YOU.
When doing all of these, make sure the material is appropriate to age and ability.
As this is a blog posting and full discussion is limited by constraints of space, only an outline of benefits and how to help have been included. There is a great deal available online or through discussion with teachers (especially teachers of Speech and Drama and those involved in early learning phase education), with whom you can discuss further. Hopefully you can all come up with ideas on how to develop literacy in your community or one which desperately needs it. Some of your future readers might come from the very children you have helped. You might even be tempted to write stories for these young audiences and, in so doing, find a whole new market for your writing. Older children can be encouraged to write and illustrate stories and poems of their own. You might even make copies and place them in other classrooms and school libraries. Children often love reading stories and poems written by other children.
Have fun inculcating and building a culture of reading and writing in the young. It will benefit others, and you.
If we want readers, we need to grow the base from the beginning. This beginning starts with very early childhood, and includes infants.
When you read to a child, when you put a book in a child’s hands, you are bringing that child news of the infinitely varied nature of life. You are an awakener. Paula Fox
Aim: To encouraging listening, thinking, observation, participation, imagination, empathy and speaking through reading and storytelling.
I read many blogs and books designed to help writers improve their craft and help market their work. We also need to be proactive about developing readers and, more particularly, developing them from a very young age. This comes through reading to children, sharing and discussing pictures with them, and encouraging them to observe, interact with, and question their environment and all within it. I regularly meet children who live in towns and cities with access to a library or resource centre who are never encouraged to visit it. I also encounter children whose parents do not read to them. In terms of cognitive and emotional development this is really setting a child up for failure.
In areas where books are scant or non-existent, parents should be encouraged to tell stories to their children. These could be imaginative tales or of a biographical or autobiographical nature. When it comes to the latter two examples, this helps keep family history alive while children’s listening and language skills are improved. Once children are able to draw and paint, they can create illustrations of the stories they have heard. Singing songs together is also a great way of enhancing confidence and communication. It is even better if some action is included. If parents and children do have access to books, it is still important to tell stories and sing songs. In other words, the more activities you include, the better.
Part two follows in a day or two.