One of my favorite local “extracurriculars” for kids is R.E.A.D., an early literacy program that incorporates movement, music, acting, art, and themed activities for parents and children 6 months to 5 years. It’s founder, Marilyn Levin, has a gentle and patient spirit that draws you into the magical world of reading no matter your age. For parents, she models different ways to introduce reading and books. For children, she creates a safe, structured, inviting space to learn and play. I also love the friendships that you make.
I have learned so much from Marilyn about early literacy and how important it is not only to a child’s cognitive development but also to the parent-child relationship.
A few things that I have learned on the cognitive side:
Reading is more than just the act of reading. It is the introduction, exposure to and experience of literature.
Reading is more than words. It is sound, rhythm, texture, color, pattern, hand-eye coordination, the development and strengthening of attention span.
Reading is more than words. It is a song, a dance, a beat, a movement. It is whole-body, and once it’s in, it grows.
Reading (being read to) is the beginning of language.
From the parent-child relationship side:
Reading is more than a one-way street. It is a doorway to new conversations with your child, an invitation to explore ideas, imagination, creativity.
Reading isn’t just book-before-bedtime. It is a promise. It is a daily, anticipated, cherished part of the day that offers quiet comfort, security and transition from a long, hard, noisy day.
A child who doesn’t sit still while you’re reading, still hears your voice, the sounds, the rhythms, the rhymes.
There is something very special about reading a favorite childhood book to your own child. It’s an invitation to remember… and smile.
Books are future childhood memories.
Marilyn Levin, founder of R.E.A.D. would like to offer a FREE 3 week Summer 2013 session (one class a week) to a first time READ participant. The value is from $65-$95, depending on the age of the child. The sessions are:
Session 1 June 1 – June 20
Session 2 June 22 – July 18 (we are off the week of July 4th)
To enter, visit R.E.A.D. and leave a comment below. I’d love to know your favorite childhood book. The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!