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    Make Reading a Priority

    Most parents of young children have at some point read a story to their child before bedtime. In fact, a national online study funded by Macy’s and the literacy non-profit group Reading is Fundamental (conducted by Harris Interactive using a sample group of 1,003 U.S. parents of children ages 8 or younger) found that 87% of U.S. parents read bedtime stories to their kids. Only one third (33%) of those parents said they read bedtime stories to their kids daily.

    Reading to your child regularly is very important. Parental reading provides a positive bonding experience between parent and child and promotes a love of reading that will stay with the child through his or her life. It is crucial in early literacy development, helping children gain early literacy skills such as letter knowledge, vocabulary development, and phonological awareness.

    An easy way to make parental reading a priority is to incorporate it into your daily routine. Bedtime is a great time to read with your child because it will help them relax and prepare to go to sleep. If bedtime reading isn’t an option, you can always try “breakfast story time” and read with your child while they are eating breakfast. Even if you are just reading the cereal box, you are introducing your child to the early literacy skill Print Awareness, which involves noticing that print is everywhere.

    The Daviess County Public Library (DCPL) offers digital resources and children’s programming to help you prioritize reading to your child. Digital resources available include Tumblebooks and Kentucky Libraries Unbound. Tumblebooks is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they’ll love. Kentucky Libraries Unbound is the library’s collection of downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks. The DCPL uses children’s programming to promote the early literacy skill Print Motivation, which includes being interested in and enjoying books. The library offers Wee Read (0-2) and Circle Time (3-5) story times at 10 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays every week where children can hear stories, sing songs, and do other fun activities to introduce them to joy of reading. Every Saturday morning from 10-12, the library hosts Saturday Morning Live, a self-guided program where children can play with items that develop early literacy skills.

    Of course, the Daviess County Public Library has a large variety of entertaining and educational material you may check out and read to a child of any age including board books, picture books, chapter books, audiobooks, and even magazines. Library staff will be happy to assist you in choosing good books to get you started. Good luck and good reading.

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