In this day in age, there are lots of “talks” we need to have with our children. So many in fact, I often get overwhelmed (as a parent) and paralysis sets in. But one talk that has been tried and true for some time is the sex talk. Looking back at my childhood and adolescence, the sex talk happened once around puberty and that was it. Our parents took a deep breath and had at it, usually a boy with his father and a girl with her mother. I think both kids and parents wanted it to end as fast as possible, never to be mentioned again.
Act. This is the word that has echoed in my mind all summer. In June, I was attending a vigil to honor the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and this word was repeated throughout one of the speeches by a local activist. She emphasized that it is not enough to simply attend a vigil or feel badly about what is happening. Instead, one must act and find the thing that is most important to her or him. I have associated the devastating event in Florida as the beginning of what has been a summer of tragic events both globally and locally.
It’s spring! In order to avoid all those spring cleaning chores and the wicked heat outside, I’ve taken to reading even more than usual. The following is a list of books I’ve read recently and really enjoyed, in no particular order. I hope you too can stay out of the sun and beat the heat with these fun books.
I like alphabet books that look at letters in unusual ways. While alphabet books can be used to teach about and reinforce knowledge of letter sounds and shapes, they can lead to so much more--piquing a child’s curiosity, honing her skills of observation, or leading him to use his imagination to see letters in the world around him. As children learn to identify letter names and shapes, we encourage them to search their environment for letters and words.
Looking for a new YA book? Check out these rave reviews of contemporary fiction, fantasy and nonfiction from teens at the Bainbridge branch who are part of the Teens' Top Ten and School Library Journal book review program.
Reading aloud to your child is very important in relation to the development of their early literacy skills. In fact, reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to ensure reading success. It is easy to become very focused on children knowing how to read, but what about helping children develop a love of reading? Knowing how to read and having a love of reading do not always go hand in hand. One way to help develop children's love of reading is to continue reading aloud to them even after they have become proficient readers.
I read an interesting statistic the other day. Over 55% of people who read teen books are not teens-they are adults. After I reflected on this for a very short amount of time I realized that this statistic is not terribly surprising because, after all, I help adults find and check out teen books on a regular basis here at my library. Why do adults enjoy teen books? They enjoy them for many of the same reasons teens do.
I don't know if you realize it or not, but we are surrounded by amazing authors here in Kitsap County, and it was my pleasure to discover a new name on the scene -- Kate Breslin. The author Kate is a Florida girl who migrated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She lives with her husband, John, and a very spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written several travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and her first manuscript, a Scottish historical romance, was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest.
The Kitsap Regional Library is offering some fantastic programs just for kids, and those programs all promote literacy in different ways and encourage reading. Reading! That’s definitely literacy. But what about our pre-readers? I’ve got five super simple things that you can do with your baby, toddler or preschooler to increase early literacy and I’ll bet you are already doing most of them.