February is Library Lover's Month, and a good time to help spread appreciation of the written word to the younger set. One of the best ways of encouraging literacy is by reading to children while they are very young. Making it an established bedtime and naptime ritual to have a story read helps young children learn to love books and the special times they represent.
Appreciate your local library
With a wonderful public library system in the Grand Prairie area, we are truly fortunate to have access to a lifetime supply of reading material, movies, and magazines. There are local branches as well as a main branch, and each has their own list of events to keep your family involved. There are reading times for the preschoolers and special speakers for the older children. There are also films shown on the weekends for the whole family's enjoyment.
Checking out books at the public library can also help children learn responsibility. They can take care of their books and, should anything happen to the book, make reparations at the library. Our branch asks only that you pay for a replacement or donate a book of similar value. This helps the children learn to keep their books in a special place or a book bag (which can be purchased at the library for a nominal sum) so that they are always ready to be returned. Adults in the family can mark the due date to make certain they are returned in a timely manner.
Reading daily establishes a positive tradition
When books are read at bedtime, it helps the child transition to a more relaxed state. For very young children, a story is usually completed in one sitting. As the children grow older, it is fun to read a single chapter together before bedtime, and helps them look forward to anticipating the rest. It is also a way to introduce appropriate literature to the children.
A favorite book that has passed the interest test of several children and even been read to a group of adults with great success is The Whale's Song by Dyan Sheldon. The lovely paintings, done by Gary Blythe, help portray a wonderful relationship between a young girl, Lilly, and her grandmother. It is about dreaming, relationships between generations, valuing nature, and the importance of believing. It is a wonderful book to share with any child, but especially so for grandparents to share.
For many other wonderful books, please check out your own local library and start a daily reading habit with the children in your life!
Grand Prairie main library, 901 Conover, 972- 237-5700
For the Grand Prairie library calendar, please see the links at your right.