Since you obviously know that I believe in reading as a core value, I wanted to share with you a program that is exciting to get children off to the right start in this activity.
Take Time to Read is a program that is a joint partnership between the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas. It is a great investment that gives these organizations the opportunity to demonstrate their care for the future of Texas children. Since the program’s inception, both organizations have worked together to develop and distribute promotional materials at no charge.
Many Scottish Rite members go directly into Texas public schools on a regular basis and read to children in the classrooms. The activities are coordinated by a special committee authorized by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas.
I thought you might be interested in reading this information about the program that I pulled directly from the web site of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, which is located just southwest of downtown Dallas on Maple Avenue.
Reading experts agree that reading aloud to children may be one of the most important activities adults can do to prepare children for success in school. Reading aloud for as little as 10-20 minutes each day can provide tremendous benefits in helping children develop a better understanding and appreciation of language.
Benefits of Reading to Children Include:
- Encouraging children’s imagination and inspiring creativity
- Helping children develop good listening skills and expand their attention span
- Preparing children for success in school
- Helping children develop critical thinking skills
- Creating a bond between adult and child
Tips for Reading to Children:
- Take time to read to your child every day for at least 10 minutes.
- Establish a regular reading time.
- Make sure your special reading time isn’t interrupted. Your undivided attention is important to your child.
- Guide your child’s reading selection by choosing a variety of books you find appropriate. Allow your child to choose from this group.
- Talk about what you’re reading. Discuss the story to make sure your child understands the story and the words in the book.
Cheryl offers: I recently heard the rumor that eventually all books will be digital. Down with that idea I say! Call me old fashioned, but I am one of those people who LOVE to hold a book, turn the pages, feel the paper, write notes in the white space, highlight what catches my attention and I want to remember. When I think about great civilizations, not one comes to mind that didn’t have story telling as a part of their culture. In our day, we tell our stories in books. I love the touch and feel of a good book in my hands and my eyes love the print. Reading a screen, be it a Kindle or a personal computer, is not my idea of a good time. It’s hard for me to feel connected to something that disappears at the drop of an electric current or battery. I don’t want it to “come alive” when I want to read and I don’t want to wait for it to “shut down” for the night when I’m sleepy and want to go to bed. I hope this idea of putting all print on electronic media goes away and stays away. Whatever will I do with all my bookshelves? How will I ever find all the ideas I loved at the moment I read them? This all became very clear to me as I read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Although I know his words would have been the same, something changed as I held the book in my own hands knowing he wrote this with only a few months to live just last year and now he is already gone.
Sara adds: Just for the record, I love paper and ink books, too. Hey, with as much grey hair as I have – it’s to be expected (!) I think it’s a generational thing. However, I also love the idea of drawing new reading audiences into the world of “other people’s ideas,” into the place of relying on the mind’s eye to create a locale or a tone or spectacular view. We hear so much about the need for innovation in business. Well, I’m here to tell you that without an active imagination, innovation is tough. Reading is way to stimulate the imagination and to practice those muscles that make innovation possible. So let’s make room for technology that encourages reading. Let’s be OK with the fact that it’s designed for a younger generation and their styles. So here’s to Kindles and nooks, Cybook Opus, BeBook and all the others. Let’s encourage younger folk to expand their “electronic horizons” by introducing new ideas in their medium. And then let’s invite them to a join us in a conversation.