Encouraging reading reaps rewards

Though September was International
Literacy Month, encouraging reading doesn’t stop there. The Cayman Islands
Public Library Services is reminding parents about the value of nurturing
healthy reading habits.

While literacy is a fundamental
skill necessary in today’s information-driven society, with so many electronic
resources like television, the internet, and video games available to kids,
many parents struggle with motivating their kids to read.

“There are so many ways in which
reading continues to be both a vital skill for children to master, and an
important source of knowledge and pleasure that can last a lifetime,” said
Education Minister Rolston Anglin. “Nurture it in your children.”

Studies have shown that the more
children read, the better readers and writers they will become, and it is not
difficult to incorporating reading and writing in your child’s daily routine.

Cayman residents are urged to make
the most of the range of information resources that are available at the
nearest public library, a sensible resource in tough economic times.

In addition to providing free
access to books, music, DVDs and the internet, libraries support literacy
education by providing teaching resources, space for tutoring, and information
and referral services.

And it’s not just youngsters who
benefit from libraries. The importance of libraries internationally has
continued to grow, accelerating dramatically in the global economic downturn as
people looked for more cost-effective resources. 

Adults frequently use libraries for
financial information, and computer access to aid in job hunting and resume
preparation, among other things.

The Reading is Fundamental
organization have these tips for helping build kids’ literacy:

Keep books and other reading
materials at home. You can do it for free with a library card, and you may
borrow up to ten books for three weeks.

Your neighbourhood library is a
‘store house’ of free resources for all ages, including DVDs, as well as audio
books. Explore the children’s section with your child and ask a librarian to
suggest books the child will enjoy.

Learn about your child’s interest.
Get books and magazines related to these areas. Also, learn to respect your
child’s interests.

Lead by example. The best way to
motivate reading is to display good reading habits yourself. Let your child see
you reading as often as possible, whether it’s the newspaper, magazines or
books.

Discuss books you have read. This
will reinforce that reading is an important part of life.

Read books to your children.
Children at any age will appreciate being read to. Experts recommend that
parents do this for at least 10-15 minutes each day at a convenient time, as
the more children are read to, the greater their interest in mastering reading.

Link popular movies with books. In
cases where movies are based on books, encourage your child to read the book,
then ask about the differences or similarities.

Use travel to spark reading. If you
are taking a family vacation or trip, ask your child to find information
related to the place you are visiting.

Play games and encourage your child
to play games that are reading related.