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?”

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 36% 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.

Back as 1971, National Association for the Education of Young Children (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.”

Together, let’s grow the next generation of readers—and give them the fullest opportunities for success they deserve.