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Read everywhere today and every day. A lot of us love reading already, but why is it important?
Why Kid Lit Matters
Studies have shown that reading to kids and talking to them about daily activities helps boost cognitive development greatly between birth and five years of age. It helps kids develop literacy skills that they then use to read well, in terms of comprehensive and vocabulary development. This causes success in school, which leads to a higher educational attainment that helps people achieve their goals in life. I believed in the importance of reading when I started as a librarian 11 years ago. Since the inception of my career, I have received much training from the talented staff we have at the library, the Family Place training at Middle Country Public Library, and the school personnel that I have been priveledged to work with. I have also read many books on the importance of literacy in childhood cognitive development. Attending conferences and the Children's Literary Salons that occur monthly at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building have also deepened my conviction that reading to kids and having them read independently is vital to their well-being. Not only does reading help them learn and develop their literacy and school skills, but it can transport them to worlds that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to visit. Travel and escape that is as cheap and free as borrowing a library book. You can't beat that! Your public library card is a valuable asset.
Not only are literature and books at the crux of my profession, but I also enjoy the process of reading very much. Part of that is attributable to my parents' and teachers' enthusiasm for reading and books. My father is a definite aficionado of the public library. As a kid, I loved going to the public library. (If I recall correctly, we generally visited the library once a week or biweekly.) However, I never felt that we stayed long enough. I wanted to hang out there! Luckily, I found a way to spend hours and hours at the public library, and I definitely get my fill of libraries, now. As if my work hours were not enough, I sometimes even feel the need to visit one, two, or three libraries on my days off! Pathetic, I know, but reading is important, and libraries are important and awesome places!
The Read Everywhere campaign is similar to the One Book, One City campaign that was first introduced to me in Philadelphia, which attempts to get an entire city hooked on one book. This is terrific, since reading is portable, and it can happen in so many places in order to alleviate boredom and make life more interesting.
Just think of all the places that reading can occur!
- on the train, bus or airplane
- at home
- at the library
- on the street
- in line at the bank or store
- on your break at work
- while eating meals or snacks
- on the beach
- in the doctor's office
I'm sure that you all can think of even more daring and exciting places to read!
I loved to read as a kid, and I loved Reading Rainbow. It is educational and not as trivial and fluffy as the sitcoms that I watch. It was a valuable part of my childhood. In fact, after I read to pre-schoolers for the library's story time, the teachers and kids love to the see the "movies," which are essentially children's picture books in motion. They laugh so much at the characters' antics in the motion pictures, and they always look forward to the videos.