by Melanie Kozlowski, Early Literacy Librarian
Did you know that one thousand trillion synapses are formed in a baby’s brain during the first 8 months of life? Synapses are pathways between nerve cells. When we read aloud to a young child—including babies—we are giving them the brain power of a lifetime.
With so much at stake during those early years of life, it’s a great time to ask, “What can each of us in the Estes Valley do to ensure kids have regular opportunities of being read aloud to?”
April is the Month of the Young Child. We’ll be sharing ideas in the weeks ahead—and welcoming your ideas too. This week, let’s start with the basics:
Parents — you got this! Simple activities like reading aloud and visiting your library will prepare your child for school and life.
Reading aloud to your child for 15 minutes a day feeds the brain with lifetime benefits. And regular visits to the library and choosing books to take home helps develop a love of books and reading. Help spread the message of the importance of early literacy.
In the Estes Valley, we want our kids to meet their highest potential.
However, in recent years, only 39% of Estes Valley children arrived at school sustaining or exceeding benchmarks of school readiness. Yet, with simple activities, that number can be dialed up so that ALL our kids arrive at school ready to learn. Let’s grow readers!
A child who engages in early literacy activities at home is a strong candidate for later success in learning to read. Check out our “Estes Grows Readers” page for a great list of resources and information to get started.
A little background: the Month of the Young Child grew out of what was originally a week-long April initiative by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This effort has been adapted into many special initiatives across our state and county.
As far back as 1971, NAEYC recognized “the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life”. They add, “It’s a time to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.”
In the coming weeks, we’ll be introducing some new ideas on how you can get involved to help Estes grow readers. We’ll celebrate the local partners who are part of this great effort. And together, we’ll dream big, as we make it our goal that every young child is Kindergarten-ready upon their arrival for their first day of school.
Together, let’s grow the next generation of readers—and give them the fullest opportunities for success they deserve.