The Issue: Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children
In 1983, the US Department of Education worked with the National Academy of Education to organize the Commission on Reading, wherein experts explored the decline of literacy and enthusiasm in reading, according to reading-aloud advocate and author Jim Trelease. Two years later, the commission issued a report titled Becoming a Nation of Readers. It determined that the "single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” In the midst of education-spending struggles, reading aloud at home can help children become independent readers and turn reading into an engaging family activity.
The Campaign: Teaching Parents to Read Aloud to Kids
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Ready, Set, Read! to teach parents to read aloud to their children and to create a lending library. Each $6 raised will allow one low-income parent with a child in the Head Start program at the USC School for Early Childhood Education to attend a reading-aloud workshop, and it will provide one book for the Head Start lending library. During the workshop, instructors will teach parents creative methods for reading aloud to children and getting them engaged in books. Families can then check out books from the library to read to their children at home.
Ready, Set, Read!
Because they believe books should be available to everyone, Ready, Set, Read! hosts parent education programs and classroom lending libraries to get children reading at home. During bilingual workshops, parents can learn techniques such as the dialogic method, which uses open-ended questions and discussions to engage children in content, making reading aloud fun for young children at home. The program focuses on demonstrating how influential the parents’ role is in developing literacy skills and self-confidence. Since 2000, volunteers and educators with Ready, Set, Read! have built more than 160 classroom lending libraries, taught more than 27,000 local parents to read with their children on a regular basis, and distributed as many books to those families.
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