"One of my favorite memories growing up is of my mother taking my sister and I to the public library weekly and then returning home with more books than our little arms could carry. I found empowerment on those shelves, and my mother’s encouragement to read anything and everything I wanted to learn transformed my life. I would like to think that this highly influenced me to become a literacy teacher and eventually a Reading Specialist.
When I joined HHA as the Admissions Director, I was so delighted to discover that we assigned reading as a homework assignment for our children and families. There are a lot of different thoughts and feelings in education right now around literacy, but we can all agree on the importance of reading at home. And, its importance for all ages!
Research has shown us that in the first three years of life, infants and toddlers begin acquiring the first of thousands of words they will use throughout their lives. And, we know that reading aloud to young children not only stimulates their language and cognitive skills, it also builds their motivation, curiosity, and memory. We know that children develop language skills long before being able to speak, and children also develop literacy skills long before being able to read.
We are also living in such a wonderful time in which students now more than ever have access to some of the most beautiful, thoughtful and transformative books by a wide variety of authors. And, while I certainly love some of the classics, I cannot stop collecting so many great stories available for all ages today! Here is just a snapshot of the ones I would recommend for all of you:
How To Read A Book by Kwame Alexander
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
Survive by Lupita Nyong
Fry Bread by Kevin Maillard
The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho