The second week of November is Young Readers’ Week. Created by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in 1989, the week brings awareness to the importance of reading, especially for young children and elementary school students.
Katie McKenzie, the Des Moines Public Library’s program coordinator and a former educator and literacy specialist, offers these five tips and tricks for encouraging more reading in your home:
1. Make time for reading
Try to set aside a regular read-aloud time with your child each day. We know schedules can be busy, so carving out even just 15 minutes in your schedule each day can help make a big difference. Try creating a cozy reading area in your home to make reading more relaxing.
2. Choose reading material at the right level for your child’s abilities
If your child is reading a book that’s too difficult, it can make reading frustrating and feel like a chore. Make sure they are reading at or below their skill level. Have older children read easy picture books to their younger siblings. When you are reading to your child, it’s OK to choose material that is above their level. This helps improve their vocabulary!
3. Look for a variety of reading material
Fiction books aren’t the only books to grab from the library. Let your child enjoy whatever kind of reading material they gravitate to, including joke books, cookbooks, graphic novels, children’s magazines and more.
4. Exhibit your own love for reading
We all know young children want to emulate their parents. Be sure to “get caught” with your own books, magazines and whatever else you have in the house so your children can see you reading too.
5. Provide access to books
Surround your living space with lots of reading materials. Visit the library and borrow a wide variety of materials (books, graphic novels, magazines and more) and discover what interests your child most. Create a home library with your child’s favorite books. Subscribe to children’s magazines, like SI for Kids, National Geographic for Kids and Highlights — many of which are available to check out for free from the library as well.
Upcoming featured events:
Family Storytime – Dinosaur Dig: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Central Library. Listen to dinosaur stories and take part in dinosaur activities for the whole family.
Youth Makerspace – Space Science: Wednesday, 4 p.m., Forest Avenue Library. Learn about our solar system and create your own rocket. Ages 8-12.
Paper Wreaths: Wednesday, 6 p.m., East Side Library. Make a beautiful paper wreath and enjoy hot cider. Supplies are limited. For adults.
Immigrant Rights: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., South Side Library. Join us as members of the ACLU provide an informative program on the rights of immigrants in the United States.
Falling into Watercolors: Thursday, 4 p.m., North Side Library. Learn the basics of watercolor painting and decorate stamped cards with some fun designs. For adults.
Furry Tales: Saturday, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Franklin Avenue Library. Read to licensed theory dog Shanti in the children’s area.
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