January 19, 2017 | Read Across America Day, Child Development, Tips, Community Partners, Early Childhood Literacy, Reading, Help Your Child Get Ready to Read, Early Literacy, Brain Development, Reading Aloud
by LeeAnne Larsen
Year two of the Read to ME Challenge is scheduled to begin on February 2, 2017. Again this year,First Lady Ann LePage will launch the campaign by reading to children of military families at the Blaine House. She will follow up her reading by issuing a challenge to all Mainers to participate in the 2017 campaign. This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same. The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2017.
Take the challenge! Read to your child 15 Minutes a Day. Today and Every Day. Challenge Others to Take the Challenge, too!
Reading aloud to children not only provides a bonding experience with caring adults, but the simple act of reading aloud to child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement. Reading aloud opens up the world to children, helping them build knowledge and vocabulary. As children’s brains are rapidly developing, one of the greatest gifts we can give them is our time reading aloud.
During the month of February, Raising Readers joins the Maine Department of Education in promoting the Read to ME Challenge. The Challenge is an opportunity to contribute to a child’s literacy growth by reading aloud to one or more children for at least 15 minutes.
It’s Easy! Take the Read to ME Challenge
- Read to and/or have a child/children read to you for at least 15 minutes.
- Read an engaging book, chapter of a novel, newspaper or magazine article, comics, nursery rhymes or poetry.
- Capture a photograph or short video (15-30 seconds) of yourself reading to the child.
- Use #ReadtoME or #ReadaloudME to post the photo or video on social media with your challenge to others to read aloud 15 minutes to a child or children they know.
- Recommended social media platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.
- If you live a distance from a child you’d like to read to, use Skype or Facetime to read aloud via digital means.
- If you are unable to complete the challenge within 48 hours, consider:
- Donating a book to a school or public library, a food cupboard, a homeless shelter or a little free library near where you live.
- Volunteering your time at a library.
- Singing to or having a conversation with a child (these methods build language, too).
Hint: Add #raisingreadersME to your posts and we’ll post them on our Facebook page. Or, post them directly to the page.
LeeAnne Larsen is a Literacy Specialist with the Maine Department of Education.
Read to Me Challenge website: http://www.maine.gov/doe/readtome
Reading Aloud http://www.readingrockets.org/reading-topics/reading-aloud)