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Off the Shelf: Fostering a love of reading in children
Instilling a love of reading is one of the most important things we can do for our kids and grandkids. It’s well worth the investment of time and energy. Here are some suggestions to consider while encouraging a love of reading with the special young person in your life.
• Start early. The love of reading is learned and nobody is too small or too young to be read to.
• Set a good example. It’s important that children see you reading.
• Create a special reading area. A comfy chair, fluffy pillow and a blanket, a small table and a lamp encourage snuggling into a good book.
• Give children reading material that they’ll devour. What interests your child? Help him explore magazines, graphic novels, fiction, nonfiction and other genres until you find the right fit for your child.
• Support your child’s reading interests. Share your feelings about the importance of reading. She will be more likely to embrace reading if she feels her parents’ support.
• Embrace technology. An e-reader might be just the ticket to entice a reluctant reader. An audio book exposes the listener to the joys of the written and spoken word and is a wonderful way to share a book together as a family. If your children enjoy playing computer games, take advantage of some great reading programs and activities online as well as apps, reading sites for kids and much more.
• Even if your children can read on their own, keep reading to them. This allows you to read books that might be too difficult but are still enjoyable for your reader.
• Visit the library! Get your child his own library card. Let him check books out on his own. Libraries are often the first place to spark a child’s interest in and love of books. Take children to the library regularly and let them experience the world of promise that books provide. Attend library programs and events with your children to expand their sense of community and meet others who love to read.
• Make it fun! Love, talk, sing, play and read! Immerse your child in a variety of language experiences and enjoy this time together.
• Use the Sequim Library. The library staff is eager to help you to introduce a love of language with your child. At the library you’ll find story times, Read and Return board books (with no due dates to worry about!), family concerts, e-readers for children, music CDs for family listening and staff who are happy to help you choose great books.
For information on activities and programs for youth, visit the library, check out the North Olympic Library’s website at www.nols.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patti Swingle is Youth Services specialist for the North Olympic Library System.