Early literacy program set to teach children and parents the importance of reading

GRAFTON—Reading encourages growth and learning in young children, and in an effort to demonstrate the importance of reading and early literacy, the Taylor County Board of Education has teamed up with the Taylor County Public Library.

The board will be offering an early literacy program for children ages three and four, at the library, beginning on Tuesday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m.

“The program is open to any child, between the ages of three and four-years-old,” shared Anna Jarvis Elementary School teacher and reading specialist Melissa Weaver. “Although encouraged to attend as many as possible, children are not required to attend every session.”

The hour-long program, led by Weaver, will provide young children with vital learning experiences. She said that she believes that the Taylor County Board of Education feels that it is important to offer programs such as this to the community.

“We want to educate parents on the importance of early literacy and provide an opportunity for children to take part in early learning,” Weaver shared.

She noted that research has shown that reading aloud to children and intentionally teaching vocabulary sets them up for success.

“During the sessions, I will provide read alouds, letter and vocabulary lessons, along with some hands-on activities,” revealed Weaver.

She further shared that she will also be leading the children in singing nursery rhymes and giving them plenty of time to work and play at literacy stations.

“We will probably do a few crafts, as well,” she added.

Weaver voiced that she believes that reading to children often in the early stages of life is very important.

“Literacy is important from day one and lays the foundation for a child’s success in school and life,” she commented. “Literacy, or the ability to read and write, is connected to everything we do. A child who hears more sophisticated words has an advantage over those children who have not been exposed them.”

This will be Weaver’s second year teaching the program.

“I really enjoyed my sessions last summer. I believe both the children and their parents took away a lot of new literacy practices from it,” she disclosed.

She shared that last year’s program was a great success, as the children were very responsive and engaged for the entire hour.

Family members are encouraged to stay in the room while Weaver teaches the program, so that they can see first-hand how she interacts with the children, showing them how they can mimic the process at home.

Parents are also provided with important developmental information about how they can continue to encourage early literacy with their child.

“I think it is good for the parents and family members to see me interact with their children, to see what I am doing as I read aloud, so that they can do the same during their read aloud times at home,” Weaver explained. “It is a great way for parents to gather ideas for activities and props to use while focusing on vocabulary, as well.”

For more information on the program, or to register your child, please contact Weaver by emailing [email protected].