Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Start Them Young

Posted by Linda   
As a former teacher, I know how important reading is for success. As writers, we hope to develop readers. 

I read to my three boys and I’ve read to my grandchildren. All have often seen me with my nose in a book. In fact, I even created a few crafts and ideas for encouraging reading.

When my then three year old twin granddaughters moved from Fort Collins to Puyallup, Washington, I wondered how I could keep my husband and me in their memories. For a holiday gift I gave them Nana’s Book-a-Month Club.

Every month I sent each girl a picture book. Friends wrote some of them while others were Caldecott winners or almost winners, like Click, Clack, Moo. This past month, my three year old twin grandsons moved from Evergreen, CO, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m collecting books to begin Nana’s Book-a-Month Club as a Christmas gift. This time I may have difficulty finding books. I gave them my friends’ books already, as well as my own. I’ve given all seven grandchildren books at every opportunity.

My son in Utah has three children we didn’t see very often when they were young. At the age of three, Matthew liked to watch the screen saver pictures on his parent’s computer. I asked if Nana and Papa were pictured. “Yes,” my son said, “but he doesn’t know who you are.” That hurt.

So, I decided to do something about it. I made a “Matthew, Look Who Loves You” picture book. On the right page I placed a picture of a family member. The left named the person followed by “loves you.” I hand delivered the book and read it with him. On another trip a few months later, Matthew met me at the door with the book in hand. “Let’s read, Nana.”

Today, my grandchildren are avid readers. Not only did I help start the grandchildren reading at a young age, but I sold my ideas to parenting magazines. The girl twins, now 14, say, even though they have e-readers, they prefer holding a book.

Do you have any tricks to peak children's interest in reading?  

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