Thursday, January 28, 2010

Read to Your Baby

We are excited that our latest program at the Library will focus on our very youngest readers - little kids under 3.

Toddler Storytime will be held on Tuesdays from 10-10:30 am. Group leaders are two young mothers who have little ones themselves and will alternate weeks. The fun sessions will include nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs, and stories just right for infants and toddlers.

Our popular pre-school storytime for 3-5 year olds will still be held on Wednesdays at 10 am.

We have been looking forward to offering a toddler storytime because of the many benefits babies receive from being read to. Even though very young children do not understand everything that is being read to them, the rhythm of the language, the differentiation of sounds, the varied emotions and expressive sounds all lay the groundwork for becoming an enthusiastic reader later on. There are so many basic things learned that we might not even think of: the fact that a book is read from front to back, that pictures should be right side up, that the language of books is different than spoken language, just to name a few. The benefits of reading to babies is well documented. It improves social skills, and builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills.

But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby loves the most - your voice and closeness to you - and books. Every minute spent reading together is a minute not spent passively in front of a television show or dvd. Research has shown that early overexposure to television may delay reading skills and may even be connected to attention deficit disorder later in childhood. Check out Read to Your Baby for more benefits, tips, and resources.

The National Institute for Literacy has a wide assortment of helpful booklets published on early literacy at each age that can be downloaded. They are also available for free at the Library. Stop in and pick some up. Then stay for a visit - we'll be happy to help you Raise a Reader!

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