March is National Reading Month! Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center is celebrating by bringing back our annual March Madness for Reading initiative and by sharing important information about reading, literacy, and language development.
This year, over 350 children in Mecklenburg County’s book desert will receive the gift of more than 2,000 books during our annual March Madness for Reading event, thanks to donations from Smart Start of Mecklenburg, as well as the volunteer efforts of the Junior League of Charlotte.
Each year, Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center hosts March Madness for Reading, an initiative to encourage reading and improve literacy for Charlotte kids through the gift of books, in-class guest readers, and reading celebrations.
March Madness looks a little different this year, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but, with new safety precautions in place, we are proud to continue this initiative in 2021.
It is our hope that every child impacted by March Madness develops a lifelong love of reading. And we hope that your children can develop a love of reading as well! That is why we have rounded up some of our favorite tips for reading at home with your family. We hope that you will use these tips to inspire your children to read more. It’s never too soon to start reading to your child!
Read together every day.
Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close together. Bedtime is an especially great time for reading together.
Say how much you enjoy reading together.
Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Look forward to this time you spend together. Talk about “story time” as the favorite part of your day.
Read with fun in your voice.
Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices for different characters. Ham it up!
Discuss what’s happening. Point out things on the page, and answer your child’s questions. Ask questions of your own and listen to your child’s responses.
Read it again and again and again.
Read the same book for the 100th time! Research suggests that repeated readings help children develop language skills.
Show your child that you enjoy reading.
When children see adults reading, they’re more likely to become readers themselves. Having a full bookshelf and reading the newspaper shows your child that reading serves valuable everyday purposes.
Talk about writing, too.
Draw your child’s attention to the way writing works. When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.
Point out print everywhere.
Talk about the words you see in the world around you and respond with interest to your child’s questions about words. Ask him/her to find a new word every time you go out.
Know when to stop.
If your child loses interest or has trouble paying attention, just put the book away for a while. Don’t continue reading if your child is not enjoying it.
Get your child evaluated if you suspect a problem.
Please be sure to see your child’s pediatrician or teacher as soon as possible if you have concerns about his or her language development, hearing, or sight.
If you have any questions regarding your child’s speech-language development, these tips for reading, or March Madness, please fill out our contact form.