Libraries.....You knew I was going to say that, didn't you?
Summer's coming and it won't be long before your children (of all ages) will not be among books every day in their classrooms. If they haven't claimed their own library card, it's time.
Libraries are each community's greatest resource and membership is FREE!!! A weekly visit is not only cost-effective, but a way to bond with your kids, learning about their developing interests, and talents. Children can get library cards as early as they can write their names! This was a big milestone in my house and marked by a "ceremonial" visit to the front desk followed by an ice cream.
Libraries are so much more than full bookshelves (though that is enough for me!). The staff at each library work tirelessly to get the books you want from other libraries including digital and audio books, organize meaningful, fun, creative activities and challenges, a great place to connect with the people in your town. Some of the fondest memories I have with my children are being tucked away in the biggest, coziest chair in the library as they giggled about Robert Munsch's illustrations and stories.
April is National Poetry month (more to follow on this next month) and it's a great place to start when you head into the library to check out books because EVERYONE loves funny poetry and there is no shortage of accessible, engaging verse in every library.
We're going to make personalized library bags in the coming weeks with all of the BookBuddies classes. These are meant to be PACKED full of books. Let me just "nerd up" for a minute. The Harvard Family Research Project conducts ongoing research to examine the greatest influences on children's continuous literacy development and do you want to know what they keep finding....minutes with books with you! Summer programs are not inherently effective because they vary so much in structure and a million other things, but YOU have absolute control over the minutes children are connected with meaningful texts and you. You are the greatest influence on your child's literacy development by way of the activities you choose to do when you are with them. When they see you check out books and read, when they see you are reading a wide variety of texts and engaged in your community, they follow. Enter: the library.
I invite you to stop by your library if you have not done so in a while, introduce yourself to your lovely librarians, and get yourself a card if you don't have one. Think about when you can schedule regular visits to the library for you and your child in the coming weeks and of course, think about stopping for an ice cream afterword. : )
All the Best,