Emergent literacy: Learn to help young children develop through reading

Reading proficiency by the third grade is the most significant predictor of high school graduation and career success, yet two-thirds of U.S. third-graders lack competent reading skills. During three upcoming presentations in the Frontier Extension District, Dr. Bradford Wiles, K-State Research and Extension early childhood development specialist, will share strategies that parents and caregivers can use to encourage children to read.

Wiles will present “What Does a Cow Say?” at 7-8 p.m. Monday, March 16, at the Garnett Public Library, 125 W. Fourth St.; 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, Ottawa Library, 105 S. Hickory St.; and 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, Osage City Public Library, 515 Main St.

Parents and caregivers of children 3 to 6 years of age can use the six strategies presented by Wiles to engage a child in navigating a book’s story and characters and their own ideas about what is happening.

Children who are read to or with during infancy and preschool years have better language skills when they start school and are more interested in reading. In addition, parents who spend time reading with their children create nurturing relationships, which is important for a child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development. Learning to read is a process fundamentally driven by a more experienced person (someone who already knows how to read, usually an adult), with a less experienced individual. While each person learns to read differently, research shows that building emergent literacy skills can be done intentionally and provides great fun for both the adult and child.

Children are also encouraged to attend the interactive workshop. For more information, contact Rebecca McFarland at the Frontier Extension District office in Ottawa at 785-229-3520.


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