Here are a few tips for parents to create environments that invite children to confidently embrace and fall in love with stories and books created by Dr. Lauren Wells, Chief Education Officer in the City of Newark, New Jersey and shared on this website: http://grassrootscommunityfoundation.org/
Tips for Parents:
- Model reading. Read, read, read to your child, with your child, or in front your child every day.
- Immerse your child in books. Transform your entire home into a reading zone by placing books in every room.
- Affirm your child’s culture, language, and race by choosing books and stories with characters, places, and experiences that reflect their background.
- Awaken your child to new ideas, places, people, or experiences in books and stories by asking them questions and always answering the question they have.
- Empower your child by allowing them to choose books to read, whether based on what interests them or on book covers and titles.
- Arm your child by always leaving home with books. When your child gets older ask them if they have a book before leaving for school, the doctor, or a long ride.
- Cultivate your child’s use of language and words. Talk with your child about what is happening in their lives and the world around them.
- Build your child’s ability to make connections. When you watch television or movies, make connections to characters or ideas in books you have read together.
- Expand your child’s reading beyond fiction. Children have great curiosity about events taking place in the world, plants, animals, and people. It’s never too early to expose them to historical fiction or non-fiction books.
- Advocate for curricula, partnerships, books, and resources for classrooms and schools that are culturally relevant and responsive.