On Thursday, April 28, First Lady Frances Wolf visited our HACC Harrisburg Learning Centre and shared a story with the students as part of the Pennsylvania One Book, Every Young Child early literacy initiative. First Lady Wolf read this year’s featured book, Kite Day with friends in our one-year-old through preschool classrooms. The students thanked First Lady Wolf for her visit by presenting her with hand-crafted cards they prepared for her.
One Book, Every Young Child events, such as this, are held each year throughout the month of April, and feature Pennsylvania dignitaries visiting early education enters and classrooms around the state, reading the same chosen book.
Spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and other collaborating agencies throughout the state, the program was developed to support early literacy efforts of preschoolers, ages three to six, in all areas and populations of the state. According to the Pennsylvania One Book website, there are more than 545,000 children in this target age group, many of which are in the state’s childcare facilities, Head Start programs, licensed preschools or kindergartens.
Continue the Fun At Home
The program’s design is based on studies showing that simply reading a book is not enough. Adults must find ways to engage children in activities like talking about a book’s cover and illustrations, discussing the action in the book and a child’s favorite parts, pretend play related to the book, and more.
Copies of Kite Day are available in all Pennsylvania public libraries and the Pennsylvania One Book website features a number of follow-up activities that you can do as a family after reading the story together. These activities go beyond language and literacy development and use the Kite Day story to promote all early childhood learning standards, including:
- Mathematical thinking and expression
- Scientific thinking
- Creative thinking and expression
- Health, wellness, and physical development
- Social and emotional development
Promoting Early Literacy with Your Child
Exposing your children to books on a consistent basis, even at the youngest ages can help prepare them for their future education. Early reading skills are the basis of success in all subjects. Countless child development studies have shown that children who are read to at home, starting at an early age, enter school with solid early literacy skills, while those who do not have as many opportunities to explore books are not as prepared.
Build a love of reading at an early age when you:
- Read with your child daily. Also talk, write, play, and sing together. These are all elements of early literacy.
- Read the same books again and again. It may seem boring but the repetition gives young children a feeling of confidence because they know what is coming next.
- Allow your child to “read” their favorite books back to you.
- Create a reading nook for your child with plenty of books and a comfy chair, bean bag, or pillows.
- Visit bookstores or your local libraries often.
If you’re interested in additional ways you can start your child on a path to early literacy and kindergarten readiness, visit our blog for parenting tips or schedule a visit at your nearby U-GRO Learning Centre.