Nurturing Reading Habits

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Incorporating reading and writing in your child's daily routine may not be as difficult as it seems.

Published 23rd September 2010, 10:21am

Literacy is a fundamental skill for survival in today's information-driven society. Studies have shown that the more children read the better readers and writers they will become. September is International Literacy Month so it is befitting that the Cayman Islands Public Library Services reminds parents of the value of nurturing healthy reading habits. With the plethora of electronic resources today (i.e. television, Internet, games) many parents struggle with motivating their kids to read. However, incorporating reading and writing in your child's daily routine may not be as difficult as it seems. Below are a few tips, which are recommended by the Reading is Fundamental Organization (RIF):

  • Keep books and other reading materials at home. This can be done at absolutely no charge! Simply get a library card for your child and you may borrow up to 10 books for three weeks.
  • Utilize your Public Library! Your neighbourhood library is a 'store house' of free resources for all ages including books, DVDs, and audio books. Explore the children's section with your child and you may also ask a librarian to suggest books that he will enjoy.
  • Learn about your child's interest. Get books, magazines, etc. that will relate to these areas. Also, learn to respect his interests.
  • Lead by example. The best way to motivate reading is to display good reading habits yourself. Let your child see you reading as often as possible, whether it's the newspaper, magazines or books.
  • Discuss books you have read. This will reinforce that reading is an important part of life.
  • Read books to your children!Children at any age will appreciate being read to. Experts recommend that parents do this for at least 10-15 minutes each day at a convenient time as the more children are read to the greater their interest in mastering reading.
  • Link popular movies with books. In cases where movies are based on books get your child to read the book. Ask him about the differences or similarities.
  • Use travel to spark reading. If you are taking a family vacation or trip ask your child to find information related to the place you are visiting.
  • Play games and encourage your child to play games that are reading related.
Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin, JP, says, "There are so many ways in which reading continues to be both a vital skill for children to master, and an important source of knowledge and pleasure that can last a lifetime. Nurture it in your children." Make the most of the range of information resources that are available and waiting for you at your nearest public library. Get Carded at Your Local Library In tough economic times, parents might find it harder than ever to make sure their children have everything they need for school. Luckily, the most important school supply of all does not cost a thing. It's a library card. Libraries support literacy education by providing teaching resources, space for tutoring, and information and referral services, as well as with free access to music, DVDs, the Internet, books and much more. Library cards aren't just for kids. A recent report found that the importance of libraries has internationally continued to grow in 2010-and accelerated dramatically as the global economy sank and people looked for sources of cost-effective help in a time of crisis. Now more than ever, adults turn to - and depend on - their libraries and librarians for financial information, computer and Internet access to aide with job hunting and resume preparation, and, also books, DVDs and other resources. It's all free with a library card. Do not hesitate, drop in and see what your local Library has to offer. Source: Cayman Islands Public Library Services.