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Posted: January 10, 2010 12:01 a.m.

Reading to children is essential

By Amber Pittman/

Reading is fun: Izabella Sabo reads the book "Anatole" along with a library reader at a family reading book discussion held at the library on Saturday morning. The program will will be held every Saturday morning at 11 p.m.

Baby Talk

Reading aloud teaches a baby about communication, introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way, builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills and gives babies information about the world around them.

By the time babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk. Hearing words helps to imprint them on a baby’s brain. Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time.

When you read aloud, your child hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development. Reading also invites your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions — all of which promote social development and thinking skills. And your baby improves language skills by imitating sounds, recognizing images, and learning words.

Baby Talk, a program designed for parents and their 6 to 18 month old infants, with songs, fingerplays and stories, is held each Friday (Jan. 29 through April 9) at 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. in the Story Room of the Covington Branch Library.

Toddle Tales

Each Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. (from Jan. 27 to April 18) the library hosts Toddle Tales. This free, interactive program designed for parents and their 18 month old to 3 year old children is a great way to start a reading program with your child.

In this day and age of hectic lives and busy schedules, reading together is a simple and enjoyable way for parents to take time out and focus on the family. Young children need lots of special, dedicated time with their loved ones. Reading children’s stories is a wonderful bonding experience that fosters meaningful one-on-one communication with our kids.

Reading to our children molds them into becoming readers, and raising a reader significantly increases our child’s potential for academic success as well as lifelong success in general. It helps our children master language development, builds listening skills, increases a child’s attention span, and develops the ability to concentrate at length of which all are learned skills. It develops children’s ability to express themselves more confidently, easily, and clearly in spoken and written terms.

Reading children’s stories aloud to our kids is also just plain fun!

Storytime @ Newborn

Another season of storytime begins every Wednesday and Thursday (from January 27 through April 8) at 3:30 PM. This free program is designed for pre-schoolers through 3rd grade, and is a great way to start a read-aloud program with your child!

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