Above everything, parents must allow their children to see them reading. It is one thing to tell children the importance of reading, but it is quite another thing for them to actually see their parents enthusiastically gaining new information and insight from the printed page. In other words, parents must serve as the models that they want their children to become. --Principal Baruti K. Kafele, author of A Black Parent’s Handbook to Educating Your Children (Outside the Classroom) (Baruti Publishing)
Kids are not reading well because there is no reading culture in the home. Oftentimes little kids will mimic or imitate what they see their parents do. We have all seen how a little kid will play in a pretend kitchen and copy what they’ve seen the adults do. I remember being a little kid and there was a popular candy called candy cigarettes. What were we thinking? What a terrible product! But as kids we knew how to pretend we were smoking the candy cigarettes because we imitated our parents. What if we imitated our parents reading books? Even if parents can’t read, they can browse through books, magazines and newspapers. That’s what my illiterate grandmother did. Later on, when my mom and uncle grew up, they learned that Momma couldn’t read, and they helped her. Kids watch what their parents do. Parents can create a culture of reading in the home by reading themselves, and maybe, the little kids will copy what they see.
The Five Pillars of Family Literacy are evidence-based statements about literacy that have been curated from a school principal, poverty expert, renown reading expert, economists and a social mobility study. The Metro East Literacy Project activities are based on these pillars. Let's look at Pillar One.
Reading is at the very heart of education. The knowledge of almost every subject in school flows from reading. —Jim Trelease, author of the New York Times bestseller The Read-Aloud Handbook
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