Every Child! Every Parent! Every Day! Read Aloud 15 Minutes!

Why Read Aloud?

The information below was copied from the Read Aloud website.

There is an easy way to improve your child’s chances at school. It will entertain and delight him. It will strengthen the bonds between him and you. And it is virtually free.

Sound too good to be true? Actually, it isn’t. The magical method: taking time to read aloud to your child.

In an era of high-stakes testing and education reforms and revolutions, research has repeatedly proved that one simple parenting technique is among the most effective. Children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills and go to school better prepared.

“Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent,” concludes a review in this month’s Archives of Disease in Childhood.

In other words, reading that bedtime story may not only entertain and soothe Johnny, it may also develop his vocabulary, improve his ability to learn to read, and – perhaps most important – foster a lifelong love of books and reading.

Developing that passion for reading is crucial, according to Jim Trelease, author of the best-seller, “The Read-Aloud Handbook.” “Every time we read to a child, we’re sending a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain,” he writes in the “Handbook.” “You could even call it a commercial, conditioning the child to associate books and print with pleasure.”

This reading “commercial” is critical when competition for a child’s attention is so fierce. Between television, movies, the Internet, video games and myriad after-school activities, the pleasures of sitting down with a book are often overlooked. In addition, negative experiences with reading – whether frustrations in learning to read or tedious “skill and drill” school assignments – can further turn children off from reading.

That can have long-term consequences. As Mr. Trelease succinctly puts it in his handbook, “Students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest. Conversely, those who don’t read much, cannot get better at it.”

Reading aloud is, according to the landmark 1985 report “Becoming a Nation of Readers,” “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.”

Despite this advice, however, some educators and many parents don’t read aloud to children from a young age and thus fail to nurture avid and skilled readers. Indeed, this is especially true for children in low-income families. According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, only 48 percent of families below the poverty level read to their preschoolers each day, compared with 64 percent of families whose incomes were at or above the poverty level. Children from low-income families are also less likely to have exposure to print materials.

The good news for families is that this sage piece of parenting wisdom is easy to follow. Reading aloud to your child requires only a book – free, with a library card – and your willingness to spend a little quality time with your child. And while the sacrifices to read aloud are few, the benefits are many: Your child may learn to read better, think better, imagine more richly, and become a passionate and lifelong reader. More than these long-term benefits, however, are some more immediate: The pleasures of spending time with your child and sharing the enjoyment of a good book.

Repetition

 

Nature is a key ingredient for learning!

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Literacy for Life is proud to annouce the piloting of a new program called “Natured Kids”, which will be offered at the  Sheep River Library in Turner Valley, High River Library and Okotoks Library in the fall of 2016. The program will accept families with children aged 3 yrs to 5 years. The focus will be sharing ideas, knowledge and strategies with parents/caregivers on how to create “Natured Kids” and the reasons this is so important for a child’s long term wellness and learning. Long term impact from any program for children happens when their parents and caregivers give them the opportunity, on a daily basis to experience the joy of nature and learning.

Puddles as opportunities
Puddles as opportunities

In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. Taken all together this research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. All of the following positive impacts affect children’s early development and literacy and learning:

Supports multiple development domains: Nature is important to children’s development in every major way—intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically (Kellert, 2005).

Supports creativity and problem solving: Studies of children in schoolyards found that children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas. They also played more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment,2006). Play in nature is especially important for developing capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual development (Kellert, 2005).

Enhances cognitive abilities: Proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).

Improves academic performance: Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms andother forms of nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005).

Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms: Contact with the natural world can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as five years old (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).

Increases physical activity: Children who experience school grounds with diverse natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another and more creative (Bell and Dyment, 2006).

Improves nutrition: Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables (Bell &Dyment, 2008) and to show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition (Waliczek, & Zajicek, 2006). They are also more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives (Morris & Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002).

Improves eyesight: More time spent outdoors is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness, also known as myopia, in children and adolescents (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011).

Improves social relations: Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005).

Improves self-discipline: Access to green spaces, and even a view of green settings, enhances peace, self-control and self-discipline within inner city youth, and particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001).

Reduces stress: Green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children. Locations with greater number of plants, greener views, and access to natural play areas show more significant results. (Wells and Evans, 2003).

What do children want?

 

Time to Register – March 9th 2015

Literacy for Life offers a wide range of programs for families and adults. Check out our Parent/Child Pre-School Programs, School Aged Programs and Adult ProgramsOnline registration or call the office at 403.652.5090 starting March 9th 2015 for Spring Registration.

Our programs are free or low-cost and are open to all residents of the Municipal District of Foothills #31 in Alberta, Canada. Part of our service to the community is to provide information and resources for parents and agencies.  Visit our FaceBook and Pinterest for current information and resources

Literacy and learning are keys to success in life. It is never too late to make a difference in our learning. Literacy for Life programs provide a way for adults to seek out and engage in lifelong learning opportunities in the community – for themselves and their family. These programs help build the nine essential skills needed for work, family and community.

dad-reading-with-two-children

“It is important to affect an individual’s literacy development early, but as literacy and learning are a lifetime process, it is never too late and never too early.”

CTV video demonstrating the importance of the early years.

BEE THERE! 2nd Annual Grate Groan Up Spelling Bee

Only  room for one more team. Enter your team and help raise funds to support literacy and learning in the Foothills.  Though your  participation get free promotion for your business.  Literacy for Life has a strong social media presence and traditional promotional tools.  High River Online, Sun Country 99.7 and AM1140 are major sponsors of the event.

The Grate Groan-Up Spelling Bee is the hottest competition in the MD of Foothills.  This hilarious, action packed afternoon  on October 4th, 2014 has teams of three people competing in a battle for bragging rights to spelling supremacy and to win the coveted BEE Trophy.   Not only are they battling for spelling supremacy they are in a competition to see which team can raise the most pledges to support literacy and learning in the Foothills.

Join us October 4th 2014 at the Wales Theatre, High River for the Bee-vent! Thank you to the Kidwai Family who own the Wales Theatre for their major sponsorship of the Bee!  Check out our Video promoting the Bee and Literacy for Life.

Are you a better speller than our participants? Come out and watch.  Test your own skills. Enjoy a fun afternoon  without being a participant on the stage.  There is limited seating and a cash donation will be collected at the door. We’re thrilled to announce  the return of John Barlow our Conservative MP as the Bee-Master of Ceremonies and Darrel Janz of Inspired, CTV as the Master Bee Pronouncer, and Danielle Smith, MLA and Leader of the Opposition as Honorary Chair.   Also returning is Sandra Wiebe of Routes Media and Doris Daley as our esteemed Bee- judges.  The spelling bee-vent will be at the Wales Theatre, High River.

How can you help!

  • Enter a team!
  • Make a pledge? Donate Now!
  • Be an event sponsor!
  • Set up a Fund raising page to support your team or Literacy for Life.  Click on this link Canada Helps  and set up your Fund Raising page.
  • Go to your team’s Fund Raising Page  on our event page and support your team!

We’re currently recruiting Bee-keepers. If you would like to volunteer, we’d love to hear from you! info@litforlife.com or 403.652.5090

Follow our Facebook Page  http://www.facebook.com/LiteracyforLife) or follow the BEE Tweets at @FoothillsLFL to keep up to date on what is happening. Watch for news about our special Bee mascot when she tours to your community.  Thank you to Anna Quick, Dianne Vallee and Taylor Fleming.   Please use the social sharing tools below to share this announcement and get your community buzzing about the Grate Groan-Up Spelling Bee!

  October 4th 2014 Wales Theatre  High River, Alberta

Major Sponsor
Sun Country 99.7AM 1140

Let’s Rhyme & Raise the Best Readers

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Rhymers Will be Readers
Research in literacy and child development has found that if children know 8 nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are 4 years old, they are usually among the best readers by the time they are 8 years old.

Literacy for Life is excited to offer a fun and social program filled with rhyme and song for you and your baby.

Seniors and Babies Rhythm and Rhyme (0-15 months with Parent/caregiver)

Experience how much joy your brand new baby can offer while sharing in songs, rhymes and early literacy ideas with residents at the lodge. Registration begins March 25, 2013. To register follow the links below or call (403) 652-5090 in High River; (403) 938-2959 in Okotoks.  This program is now also offered at a NEW location – Todor Manor  in Okotoks. Please call numbers provided for more information.

Medicine Tree Manor – High River
7 Sessions – Spring
Monday
Apr 8 – May 27
(No class May 20)
2:30 – 3 PM
Click here to register

Sandstone Lodge – Okotoks
6 Sessions – Spring
Monday
Apr 8 – May 13
10 – 10:30 AM
Click here to register

Literacy for Life offers many programs supporting early literacy to all residents of the MD of Foothills. They are provided at little or no cost to the learner, family or community agency. Click here for our Program Calendar.