Recently my sister, brother, and I were tasked with clearing out our parents’ home and getting it ready to sell. There were books everywhere! As we took box after box of books to the local Goodwill, I reflected on how my parents’ interest in reading influenced my own. I don’t remember not being able to read, and I would get so lost in a book that my mother would have to call my name several times before I heard her.
The positive connection between having books in the home and a child’s interest in reading is not a coincidence. According to Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2010, just the mere presence of books profoundly impacts a child’s academic achievement.
How can you ensure the young children you love are impacted in a similar positive way? Make sure they have access to books, lots of books.
Best Beginnings can help you select books on a variety of topics. Check out the book recommendations in the Parent Center on our website.
The books are selected by a children’s librarian with the Anchorage Public Library. Check with your own local library to see how you can borrow books during the pandemic.
Have you seen our new series of Alaska-themed board books called Seasons of Alaska?
You can make your own books with covers made from cereal boxes or other cardboard and illustrated with drawings, photos, or pictures from magazines. Young children love to dictate stories and you can help those a little older write their stories.
Another source of books these days can be a Little Free Library in your neighborhood. These Little Free Libraries are also a good way to recycle books your children are ready to pass along to another child.
Since this is the holiday gift-giving season, I wanted to share an idea from one of the newspaper advice columnists. Her family has a tradition of leaving a new book wrapped in holiday paper on each child’s bed on Christmas Eve for them to find in the morning – another way to demonstrate the value of books and reading. Of course, this idea is a good one however your family celebrates.
Happy Holidays and happy reading!