The message former First Lady Barbara Bush helped spread to parents still holds true today: Read to your kids. Lisa Brady reports in this week's Fox on Family.
Do you remember Mrs. Bush's Story Time?
(Bush) "I thought these woods would be the perfect place to enjoy the story I've brought along to read."
The ABC Radio program was part of her family literacy push as First Lady, and the brainchild of the non-profit Children's Literacy Initiative. Co-founder Linda Katz says they wanted to role model why reading to your child is so critical, and how to do it:
(Katz) "So that it wasn't just a passive, television-type experience, but when you read to your child you would stop and initiate discussions around the book that help a child with comprehension."
Questions like, what do you think happens next, or what would you do? Katz says it can also build knowledge to read more challenging books to kids, but be careful choosing what kids read, especially in earlier grades:
(Katz) "It's really important to match the child up with a book that they can read at their own level and not be frustrated."
Overall, the more reading the better, for school...and life.
With Fox on Family, I'm Lisa Brady.
Listen to the full interview here:
Linda Katz retired from the Children's Literacy Initiative and is now Executive Director Emeritus. She says the group focuses more broadly on working with teachers to help them improve reading instruction. Katz says it's a nationwide problem that money and time aren't devoted to this kind of teacher training, given the importance of achieving functional literacy for success in school, getting a job and being productive in the economy. About one out of five children in urban or low income areas aren't able to read at grade level by the end of third grade. You can find the Children's Literacy Initiative at CLI.org.