As September has come to a close, so have our daily read alouds in the WMS Learning Commons. As you may know, the past month featured many WMS friends reading to the children each day. Our special guests included Board members, grandparents, parents, staff members and, yes, even dogs. The children enjoyed the great pleasure of singing a song to get started and hearing about favorite characters in literature. Each day was a little different – though the routine remained the same.
Reading aloud is one of the most important things we can do for children. Read alouds offer the opportunity for children to experience books they may not be quite ready to take on by themselves. The characters come alive through the different voices, expressions and mannerisms that the reader brings to them. Children learn how a book “sounds.” Most of us can’t recall how we learned to read. What we know through research is that reading is multi-faceted. Children move from learning letter sounds to forming words by grouping letters together to eventually reading fluently rather than plodding along word by word.
Know that as you read that favorite book to your children one more time, they are gaining more than simply a familiar story. They are experiencing the joy of the written word, the beauty of illustrations that support the story, and the wonder of reading.