|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Reading Together Matters
By Brenda Thomson, Community Relations Coordinator
April 20, 2011
I bet you do not notice how often you read or write a word. Street signs pass in and out of the brain easily. Filling out forms for the doctor or for work is simple. Filling a grocery cart with the right products, finding a business phone number, or chatting with friends online is not worth pausing to think about.
For many of us, reading and writing are simply natural parts of life. We barely realize their importance.
But imagine for a moment what it would be like if you had difficulty reading. How many mundane, effortless tasks would become hard work? How many simple requests would become impossible to fulfill, or embarrassingly revealing?
How would you fill out a time card for work, or register your child for school?
How would you get the medical care you need, or make sure you are treated fairly in a rental agreement? How would you follow a recipe, use a channel guide, or select an over-the-counter medicine?
We may not notice them, but reading and writing skills are absolutely essential to our success in everyday life. That is why reading with kids and taking the time to ensure they are reading at grade level is a key goal of the educational institutions in our community, including your Natrona County Public Library.
Literacy is the focus of a new three-year “We Read” project being undertaken by the Casper Star-Tribune, the Natrona County School District, and the Public Library, and sponsored by a number of local foundations and businesses.
Once a month, each child in grades K-3 will receive a new book in school to take home and keep. Once a week, households will receive a newspaper with a special section tailored to children, containing book-related activities, tips for parents, stories, and pre-reading games. Advertising will encourage parents, grandparents, teachers and friends to read with the children in their lives.
The point of all of this is to give our children the opportunity to learn, grow, and ultimately succeed in life. How? By building literacy into a strong community value. By making reading something we do together.
The schools cannot do it alone. Literacy begins at home. Children need to learn concepts such as shapes, numbers, the alphabet, and basic motor coordination before they enter kindergarten. Reading is built on these early fundamentals.
Sharing books with the young children you know, encouraging their interest in reading and providing them with positive experiences in the library will help prepare them for learning to read and write.
In addition to the We Read books students in grades K-3 will receive, hundreds more are available to check out for free at your library – there is something for every age, reading level and interest. Librarians are your guides to the best of children’s literature, and founts of knowledge parents can use to help reading skills develop.
Remember: reading to, with, and in front of your children is the best way to show them that reading is important, enjoyable, and essential to “real” life. For more information stop by your library or call 577-READ.
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