Creating a City of Readers is everyone’s responsibility. Here’s how to begin.
1. Get a Library card and use it. A Chicago Public Library card is free. The Library’s collections of children’s books and family literacy materials are vast and current.
2. Read aloud with a child for twenty minutes a day.
Reading aloud with children is incredibly important for their future. It helps them get ready to read and succeed in school. Research tells us that 75% of a child’s brain is formed in the first 12 months of life and that reading to a child only 20 minutes each day, starting at birth, helps that child start school ready to read. Children who have had 1,000 stories read to them by age five start preschool or kindergarten knowing the alphabet and numbers - they are ready to read! Children who have not been read to don’t know their numbers and letters when they start school. They are not ready to read and, even with the help of the most extraordinary teachers, may never catch up. So, read aloud for twenty minutes a day, every day, so your child will be ready to read!
3. Have books in your home.
If a child sees books in the home, the lessons of the value of books and reading are reinforced. How to do this easily and with no cost? See point number 1. Get a library card and use it.
4. Get caught in the act of reading.
Children are sponges. They watch and model what the adults in their life do. If adults get caught in the act of reading, their children are more likely to become lifelong readers. And adults who read are much more interesting people anyway.
How do I Get a Library Card?
n Parents or guardians fill out a library card application at any location of the Chicago Public Library.
n Sign the form in blue or black ink. n Have your child sign the form.
n Return the completed form to any Chicago Public Library and bring photo identification with your current address.
n Hip Hip Hooray! Your child receives a free Library card 6
Here are some ideas to help keep your kids motivated to read this summer and all year long:
n Visit the Chicago Public Library and use your Library card. It’s a great way to save money and be green because the Library reuses books.
n Read by example! Studies show that children model their behavior on that of their parents, so show them you love to read every day. Read children’s books with your kids, but let them see you have your own books, too. Read a variety of materials: when you read the newspaper, a magazine or even your favorite cookbook. Join the adult Summer Reading Program and set your own reading goal this summer.
n Take a favorite fairy tale or picture book and find music that makes you feel the connection between what your child sees and reads and what he or she hears.
n The more you read the more you know: informational books help kids expand their knowledge base and can pique their curiosity. Curious kids make great readers!
n Play is an important part of how kids learn: have kids play the parts in a book or favorite story with different family members taking on character parts.
n Set aside time each day for your family to read. Make it a first-thing-in-the-morning or an after-dinner time for each person in the family to read together. Enjoy the long summer evenings and read until dusk or read by flashlight to create a special ambience.
¿Cómo puedo obtener una tarjeta de la biblioteca?
n Padres o guardianes legales, favor de llenar una solicitud para obtener una tarjeta de la biblioteca en cualquier sucursal de la Biblioteca Pública de Chicago. n Firme la solicitud en tinta azul o negra. n Haga que su niño (a) firme la solicitud. n Devuelva la solicitud que Ud. ha llenado a cualquier sucursal de la Biblioteca Pública de Chicago y traiga una identificación que tenga foto con su dirección. n ¡Bravo! ¡Su niño (a) ha obtenido una tarjeta de la biblioteca completamente gratis!
A “note” to parents: Did you know that summer reading is fun for everyone? Please join in the fun when you sign up for the Summer Reading Program for adults. Ask at your neighborhood library today.
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