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Category Archives: Education

The American Academy of Pediatrics Promotes Early Literacy

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For the first time, on June 23, 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement that promotes reading aloud to children daily, beginning in infancy.

The policy statement recommends that pediatric providers promote early literacy development by: (1) advising parents of the benefits of reading aloud with young children; (2) counseling all parents about shared-reading activities; (3) providing developmentally appropriate books during their visits for all high-risk, low-income young children; (4) using different options to support and promote these efforts; and (5) partnering with other child advocates that support and promote these key early shared-reading experiences.

Click for the full abstract and/or text of the policy statement.

The 1000 Books Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. We have already begun preliminary discussions with pediatric providers and welcome any pediatric provider to contact our organization for further information on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program and its deployment.

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Seven Tips for Reading to Infants and Toddlers

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Please keep in mind that it is never too early to start reading to your children!  If your child learns early to associate reading with pleasure, she is more likely to enjoy reading on her own when she is older.

1.  Keep it Fun and Enjoyable – children like to do what is fun and enjoyable.  Make reading fun and enjoyable.  Stories should rarely be read in a monotone voice.  Bring out the inner actor in yourself.  Change your voice, make sounds, and laugh.  Most of all make it fun and enjoyable.

2.  Hold your Child While you Read – while you are still able to (provided that she hasn’t grown too big); hold your child while you read.  Does she have a favorite blanket or toy?  If so, incorporate using the favorite blanket or toy in your reading.  For example, try using the blanket to create a fort.  May be you can read to the favorite toy.

3.  Interact with your Child – give your child the opportunity to read along.  Ask a lot of questions.  Although most books can probably be read in less than five (5) minutes; lengthen the reading process.

4.  Read Books about What Interests your Child – Is your child excited about Dora the Explorer?  What about Peppa the Pig?  What about Curious George?  Try to find books about things that interest your child. When your child gets older, take her to the library and she can choose her own books.

5.  Incorporate Reading into a Daily Routine – Does your child like to be read to in the morning, after lunch, after dinner, or at bedtime? Make reading something that your child looks forward to. At the same time, do not make reading a rote and mundane event. If your child wants to skip her daily reading, that’s okay, too.

6.  Repetition – Does your child like to be read the same story over and over? That’s okay. Read the same stories again and again. Your child will start enjoying the repetition and become familiar with the way stories are organized.

7.  Keep Track of your Child’s Success – Keep track of your child’s success. Use a composition notebook, use the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten iPhone App; use any method that you want. Give your child praise after she listens to a certain amount of books. Soon, she’ll be asking you to “write down” the books after she hears them.

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Start Your 1,000 Books Even Before Birth!

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By Susan Lupone Stonis and Jacqueline Boyle

Perhaps you’ve heard about some of the exciting results from recent studies that show the powerful effects of reading to babies in utero. Groundbreaking evidence proves that babies absorb elements of language while in the womb, and that a rhythmic, repetitive story read regularly during the last trimester will soothe your baby before and after he or she is born. It’s also been shown that sharing stories with babies in utero familiarizes them with the voices of their mother and other family members. By reading to your baby before birth, you’ll be participating actively in your baby’s cognitive growth while celebrating this time of joyful anticipation.

The benefits of prenatal reading include:

Your baby will become familiar with your unique voice. Research shows that babies recognize the voice of their mother at birth and can distinguish their mother’s voice from that of a stranger.

 A familiar, rhythmic story will soothe your newborn.

  • Newborn babies show a clear preference for the rhythm and melody of a song or poem that they heard regularly from the womb.
  • Babies actually remember a rhythmic poem or story that they heard during the last trimester for up to four weeks after birth, and they’re measurably calmed by that familiar story.

When you take time to relax and read, your baby relaxes, too.

  • When an expectant mother’s heartbeat and breathing slow down, her baby responds physiologically, endocrinologically, and neurologically.
  • These responses have a positive effect on the baby’s growth and development.

Bonding with your baby prenatally benefits her future health and emotional well-being.

  • When a pregnant woman feels love for her expected child in the womb, she releases endorphins (“feel good” hormones), which trigger the same hormone release in the baby.
  • The baby becomes accustomed to these hormones and mimics the mother’s positive physiological response.
  • The result is a baby who has unhindered physical, cognitive, and neurological growth, and who is born with a general sense of safety and well-being.

Reading to your child before and after birth strengthens family and social bonds.

  • Establishing a routine around reading creates a sacred, centered, regular time devoted to you and your child.
  • This helps expectant parents and siblings develop a relationship with the baby before birth, easing the transition into parenthood and siblinghood.
  • It’s also an opportunity for others (grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends) to get involved in the prenatal bonding process.
  • In the bigger picture, family reading helps establish a culture in which literacy and language are a priority.

The research confirms: It’s never too early!

What better way to get a jump on the 1,000 books before kindergarten challenge than to get into the nightly storytime routine even before your baby is born? You can find lots more information about in utero reading, including links to studies and articles, topical posts, and book suggestions, on The Reading Womb blog.

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1000 Books Before Kindergarten Incentives

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The true reward of reading 1000 books before kindergarten is immeasurable. At the same time, we realize that your precious little ones may not yet appreciate the great efforts and time you are spending to enable them for the future. For this reason, various 1000 books before kindergarten programs offer small prizes such as stickers, bookmarks, books, and book bags.  In addition, most library programs devote “wall space” whereby you can place your child’s name upon completion of a reading level (e.g.,  100 books, 200 books, etc).  Why not take a picture of your little ones’ achievement and share it with family and friends.  Upon completion of the program, your loved one will also likely to receive a certificate of achievement/diploma (suitable for framing).

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Are Girls Easier to Read to Than Boys?

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I think the answer depends.  Some infants are just too busy to settle down to read.  Regardless of your child’s gender, studies have shown that the rewards of early reading to your child are immeasurable.  The key is perseverance.

Hopefully the built-in reward system in your local 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program will also provide you with the motivation on achieving the goal of reading 1,000 books.

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