Virginia Senate Joint Resolution 409 (2001) designated the fourth week in October as “Read Aloud to a Child Week.” Pulaski Elementary School participated in this statewide initiative by allowing older students to travel to different classrooms reading to younger students.
The Resolution states, “Reading, the foundation of literacy, enables an individual to employ critical thinking and problem-solving skills proficiently to obtain employment and function in society, pursue personal goals, and develop his knowledge and potential,” and “… children who are read aloud to by loving and caring parents, relatives, and other adults are more likely to have higher reading skills, become productive members of their community, less likely to drop out of school and create disciplinary problems, and experience greater school success.”
The idea behind the initiative is also to instill a love of reading in children at an early age, helping them to realize reading can be enjoyable. “It was great to see the students so engaged in reading! The teachers and students enjoyed it so much that we plan to make it a regular event,” said Lynne Clark, Title I teacher at PES.
Allowing PES students to read to each other made it possible for them to experience the joy of reading from both sides of the book, and also made sure all students were able to participate in Read Aloud to a Child Week, even if they weren’t being read to at home.
“There is a large body of research that documents and explains the benefits of reading aloud to children,” said John M. Dwyer, executive director of Read to Them, Inc. Dwyer says reading aloud builds a strong bond between parents and children. “It may in fact be the most important activity that parents can share with children to help them become strong readers.”
The Department of Education, in collaboration with Read To Them, Inc., a Virginia nonprofit family literacy organization, encourages all parents, teachers, and caregivers to join in celebrating Read Aloud to a Child Week, Oct. 21-27, 2012.
For more information visit http://www.readtothem.org.