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Parents Corner

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As your child's first teacher, research has shown that you have a strong and ever-lasting impact on his or her literary future. The Parents' Corner is YOUR page and is designed to give you tools, tips, and resources that you can use to help your child grow into a successful, life-long reader!

Tips To Encourage Your Child To Read

·  Start sharing books when your child is born, and don't forget to keep reading with children into their teen years.
·  Make a time and a place for reading in your home and encourage talking about reading in your family.
·  Take advantage of "waiting" time to share books: on trips, at the doctor's office, in line at the grocery store.
·  Set a good example - read on your own.
·  Allow your child to select books to read and be aware of your child's reading interests.
·  Give books as presents.
·  Get to know the children's librarian at your local public library.
·  Register your child for a library card. Get the one free card that brings you a world of opportunity - no matter what your age.
·  When preparing for family road trips, stock up on audio books from your library. Let your children choose some stories to listen to in the car.
·  Have family members share favorite ghost stories and/or adventure stories around the campfire at picnics and on camping trips.
Summer Reading and Learning Tips for Parents. (2013). American Library Association. 


We do an "Author of the Month" each month here in the VDM Library. Sure, it's fun and the kids are always interested to see what's up on the bulletin board, but did you know there are more benefits to a monthly author study?
Here are 10 great reasons to encourage your child to look closely at our monthly authors!

1. Help students develop their reading skills

Reading books by the Author of the Month is a great way to get kids excited about reading.

2. Build critical thinking skills

With author studies, students learn to compare and contrast themes, analyze text and illustrations, and make connections between an author's life and his/her work and between the author's work and the reader's own life and work.

3. Improve writing skills

An author becomes a "writing mentor" for readers as they read and study his/her work and respond to it. This "mentoring" and students' writing responses can help kids build confidence in their writing and can even inspire them to become authors themselves.

4. Forge a deeper attachment to books

Kids often bond with "their" author, which makes reading a more personal, fulfilling experience. Kids may even want to read books that influenced their author, further expanding their reading experience.

5. Establish a community of readers

Author studies help classes, and even whole schools, form closer connections through shared reading experiences.

6. Expose kids to different types of literary voices and styles

Like adults, many kids prefer a particular kind of book, such as non-fiction, series fiction, fantasy, etc. An author study can be used to persuade kids to branch out. In addition, some authors, including Newbery Medalists Avi and Lois Lowry, write in a variety of literary genres, which makes it easy for kids who do author studies on them to try out different types of reading.

7. Boost information literacy skills

Learning about a new author can spark a child's interest in them, leading them to our biography section!

8. Plug in easily to the curriculum

Teachers can use the Author of the Month as a jump off point to talk about reading, writing, poetry, etc.

9. Make connections across the curriculum

Choosing a non-fiction author is the easiest way for teachers to connect science, math and/or history units with their language arts teaching. But these connections also can be made using elements of a fiction author's books (i.e., setting in a particular time or place, animal or historic characters).

10. Add fun to the school day!

Author studies are an entertaining way to spark students' life-long interest in reading, a particularly important factor for new readers and reluctant readers.
cartoon fish reading a book

Why It's Important To Read To Your Child

According to the Family Literacy Foundation, the many benefits of reading aloud with children include:
·  Children's self esteem grows as they experience the security of having a parent or other caring person read aloud with them.
·  Children experience increased communication with parents and other family members.
·  Children are introduced to new concepts such as colors, shapes, numbers, and alphabet, in a fun, age appropriate way.
·  Children build listening skills, vocabulary, memory, and language skills.
·  Children develop imagination and creativity.
·  Children learn information about the world around them.
·  Children develop individual interests in special subjects like dinosaurs, cats, or cars.
·  Children learn positive behavior patterns and social values. 
·  Children learn positive attitudes towards themselves and others.


  • Establish a regular time and place for daily read-aloud sessions, such as before bed or during bath time.
  • Keep a variety of reading materials on hand: picture books, chapter books, atlases, dictionaries, magazines, and newspapers. They also get library cards and use them often.
  • Share your love of books and reading. Parents may say to children, "This was my favorite book when I was your age" or "I can't wait to start my new book."
  • Talk about what you read and encourage children to think, solve problems, and make predictions. Parents may discuss the books a child is reading, then ask questions such as, "Did you ever...?" or "How would you feel if that happened to you?"
  • Have plenty of paper and writing tools.
  • Store books and writing materials in places children can reach.
  • Reinforce language and literacy skills by doing puzzles and playing games that reinforce literacy, such as Lotto, Candy Land, Old Maid, Concentration, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit.
  • Model reading and writing for pleasure and for specific uses, such as making a shopping list.
  • Respond positively to children's reading and writing efforts.
  • Set aside plenty of time for reading by balancing time devoted to sports, television, and other activities.
These strategies tell children that reading and writing are important lifelong activities that are fun and useful.

Providing a Literacy-Rich Home Environment. (n.d.). Reading is Fundamental. Retrieved November 5th, 2013.