Whether you call him Curious George or the “small, brown monkey,” the little guy has a story to tell. His antics can be enjoyed by parents and preschool children even if no one can read the words on the page. That’s the idea behind our Reading Promotion Initiative, which teaches parents how to share books with their children to better prepare them for school.
Parents are a child’s first teachers, and they have always been actively involved in our programs. This new program, the Reading Promotion Initiative, offers parents ideas for supporting their child’s educational success. Parents learn how to foster the early reading skills that are so crucial to the first years of school.
Over a 10-week course, Jacqueline Figueroa, our reading and creativity promoter, teaches parents how to engage with books alongside their children. Parents and children attend weekly classes and also take home a set of books each week to practice.
What is the name of that animal? Why isn’t George able to fly like the birds? How does this person feel? Parents learn how to ask these kinds of questions and talk about the illustrations in ways that encourage vocabulary, comprehension, memory, and emotional literacy.
In addition, parents learn to encourage their children to make up their own stories about the picture books. This encourages creativity and imagination, more useful skills for the classroom.
Many thanks to Mount Olive Lutheran in Minneapolis for their special grant to this program in 2013.