Bring Books to Life is a monthly book club for parents; a testimonial
by Danielle Hamlin, Site Coordinator of the Farmington Early Learning Center
Imagine what it would be like to struggle with reading!
Some children don’t have access to books at home or even someone who feels comfortable in sharing a book with them. All parents want their children to learn to read and love books. Sometimes, however, parents aren’t comfortable with reading and don’t know how to share books with their children. Or, as one parent put it, they "can’t get their kids to sit down and listen to a story".
Here at the Farmington Early Learning Center, literacy is interwoven with everything that we do. Every time we teach parents the tools they can use to make their home a more literacy enriched environment, the child benefits in the long run. Studies show that children in low-income families are less likely to be successful in reading when they get to kindergarten (studies show that early in life these children aren’t talked to as much, they aren’t read to, and they aren’t exposed to the early literacy activities that are so crucial).
Why have literacy groups for parents? It allows parents to come together to share in a safe environment. They can feel comfortable, no matter what reading level they are, to read out loud (they are learning within the group to become better readers themselves) and share their questions and fears about reading. They start having positive and fun experiences with children’s books. They build self-confidence, which helps improve the confidence in their children. Access to opportunities for hearing and using language and learning immediately expands.
I see parents getting hooked on monthly “book club” and becoming a lot more involved in their child’s learning over the school year. I also see “old” parents reach out to help the “new” parents. One parent didn’t want to read out loud at the first session he went to. But, at the last session, he read out loud and he was a confident participant in his child’s kindergarten registration. That was great to see.
One of our favorite books, Not Your Typical Dragon, inspired the parents to make dragons from different materials, and have conversations about helping their children talk about their fears.