21 Nov Celebrate National Family Literacy Month
Kids are under pressure more than ever—and at an earlier age—to get into the right school, get good grades and take part in a whole host of extracurricular activities. While none of this is bad in and of itself, what may get lost in the mix is how important it is for kids to enjoy learning—and also to create lasting bonds!
“We know from experience working with young children that reading together is a powerful bonding experience for parent and child,” says Andrew Malekoff, Executive Director of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center. “Think about your own childhood, and you’ll likely have warm memories of cuddling up with a book and your mom or dad.”
While it’s easy to understand that reading aloud with your children will create loving connections and will also help them develop language and literacy skills, there’s more good news: Family reading time also helps decrease behaviors such as aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention, according to a study by the New York University School of Medicine.
Reading is the centerpiece at the Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court, a Guidance Center program that offers a safe and enriching environment for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years while their families are conducting court business. Each child who comes to the program leaves with a new or gently used book to bring home.
In addition, as part of our Good Beginnings for Babies program, which provides support and education to your mothers at our Leeds Place location, we emphasize the importance of early reading to our clients.
“Positive social and emotional development is a huge benefit of family reading time,” says Malekoff, adding, “Parents should begin reading to children from infancy.”
November is designated as National Family Literacy Month, but reading to your child is something to enjoy every day of the year. Here are a few tips to help this become one of your favorite family traditions:
- Set aside a little time for reading every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
- Go through both old and new books, and set some of your favorites around the house. They make cute decorations, and maybe one of the kids will pick one up and start reading!
- Take regular trips to the library.
- Read your child the book version of their favorite movie. If they can read on their own, encourage them to read it!
- Start a book club with friends and family.
- Participate in a book drive and donate old or used books you no longer need. This will help families in need read to their kids.
Helping Our Youngest Clients
North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center welcomes the contribution of your new or gently used books to use at our Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court. To learn how to donate, contact Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, NTaylorWalthrust@northshorechildguidance.org, (516) 997-2926, ext. 229.