Instill a love for reading in children
Last year a study ranked Florida in the bottom five states for parents reading to their children. An Associated Press poll last year found that one in four adults did not read a book. The National Endowment for the Arts found that 25 percent of high school seniors don't read unless it is a part of an assignment.
Yet reading is so important in everything we do, it's no surprise that early childhood educators stress the importance of reading to children from birth so that they grow to learn to love the written word. It also helps them in school as they get older.
So don't shirk on reading to your kids, even when they're beyond the Thomas the Tank Engine stage. My fifth-grader still enjoys sharing bedtime books at night, although he's graduated to chapter-by-chapter readings of Peter and the Starcatchers.
Are you one of those parents who wants to read to your kids but you need help getting started? Check out this story that includes tips on making the time entertaining not only for your children but for you as well, and reviews several good books you can use as bedtime reading. And this Saturday at the Times Festival of Reading, there will be plenty of storytime fun and you can check out how others read aloud to children.
No excuse now. Go have fun reading to your kiddos and remember -- it's not just educational, it's also lots of fun.
-- Sherry Robinson