Friday, October 13, 2017

Gathering the Sun

Hispanic Heritage Month 

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture. At Raising A Reader we embrace Hispanic culture in our diverse book collections with nearly 200 Spanish language titles. 40% of the families participating in the Raising A Reader program are Latino and one-third speak Spanish in the home. As we wrap up National Hispanic Heritage Month, we'd like to share one of our favorite Spanish and English books with you.

FOR THE WEEKEND, share this fun bilingual title with your child! 


Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English is appropriate for children 4-8.

Image result for gathering the sun by alma flor ada

Summary:
Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English is a collection of poems in Spanish and English, one for each letter of the alphabet describing farms and harvest. The beautiful book from author Alma Flor Ada is perfect alongside the traditional style paintings of Simon Silva on each page, drenched in bold, warm colors which help bring the poetry to life.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Take a Picture Walk/Sequencing:
As you read through Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English, use the beautiful paintings to ask your child what they think that page's poem might be about. For an older child, you can also try sequencing and working on alphabetical order. Help your child remember what letter was on the previous page and try to figure out what letter the poem on the next page will start with.

Do this with your child:
Read through the poems in Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English in the language you are more comfortable with, then try the other language. Practice the titles of each poem in English and Spanish with your child. It's a good possibility that you will both be exposed to something new and different. It's okay if you're unsure of some of the words, that is how we learn!

If you're interested in sharing Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English with your child you can find it from Harper Collins Publishers here.




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Friday, October 6, 2017

Amazing Autumn

FOR THE WEEKEND share this Fall themed title with your child. 

Amazing Autumn is appropriate for children of all ages.


Summary:
Amazing Autumn from Jennifer Marino Walters and John Nez is the perfect book to cozy up with as the weather turns colder and the days turn shorter. Explore the season as the leaves change color, the weather cools down and pumpkins abound. You and your reader will enjoy the interactive nature of this fun fall book!

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Take A Picture Walk:
Amazing Autumn is a perfect book for taking a picture walk. Before you read, flip through the pages with your reader and ask them ehat they see on each page. By engaging with the book before you even begin to share the words your reader will have a more impactful experience overall.


Do this with your child:

After you read Amazing Autumn take a walk outside with your reader and bring the book along with you. See if you can spot any of the signs of fall around you. Do you see leaves changing color? Do you feel the air getting cooler? Are there children in jacksets, or pumpkins on porches? Enjoy your fall spotting walk with a cup of hot cocoa!

If you're interested in sharing Amazing Autumn with your child you can find it from Lerner Publishing Group here






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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Empowering Parents to Engage Through Books


Empowering Parents to Engage Through Books


As we enter into National Book Month, all of us at Raising A Reader were once again heartened by the Washington Post article late this summer, "How To Get Kids To Look Away From Their Screens and Take Pleasure in Books."  While we still find it discouraging that it appeared in the Lifestyle section and not Education and Health, we will take what we can get in our ongoing fight against illiteracy in our nation. This article is a very good read for all parents struggling with the overbearing presence of technology in our children’s world and it makes the case for reading from traditional books.

All the research presented backs up our more than 15 years of work in the early childhood literacy landscape. What the article doesn’t touch on, and completely ignores, is that 16 million children live in poverty in our nation, and more than half do not have access to age appropriate books let alone “screens.” Our organization knows this too well as 65 percent of the children and families that we serve nationally are low-income, at risk populations.

Our core program brings books to families and empowers our low-income, at risk, and non-English speaking caregivers to participate in their child’s reading skill and literacy development even if they themselves are not readers or even English speakers. Family engagement in early childhood literacy is more than simply reading words on a page, but letting the imagination run wild as a book is shared in a nurturing way. As we train parents of all socio-economic means, all have the same revelation in one way or another  – if I share books with my child, their brain, language, and comprehension grows. What parent doesn’t want this for their child?

We applaud those struggling with screen time versus book time – it’s a real struggle. We work to provide those without screens with books and tools for the entire family to succeed long-term. Today, only 4 out of 10 fourth graders are proficient in reading. This is not a sustainable situation for our nation. Let’s keep this in mind as we highlight National Book Month.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Whiffy Wilson the Wolf Who Wouldn't Go to School

FOR THE WEEKEND share this title with your child. 

Whiffy Wilson The Wolf Who Wouldn't Go to School is appropriate for preschool age children.

Image result for whiffy wilson the wolf who wouldn't go to school

Summary:
Whiffy Wilson The Wolf Who Wouldn't Go to School from Caryl Hart and Leonie Lord is a relatable tale about a young wolf who is convinced that school will be entirely too boring. His friend Dotty persuades him to tag along with her to class and see what it's all about. Whiffy thought he would miss spending his day watching TV, playing games and staying up late - but he finds that school is more fun than he could have imagined! Filled with adorable and humorous illustrations and flowing rhythmic text, Whiffy Wilson is a wonderful book to read as school begins.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Make Connections:
Whiffy Wilson The Wolf Who Wouldn't Go to School is a perfect book for making connections. Whiffy is reluctant to go to school, can your reader relate to that? Were they nervous, scared, or unsure before their own first day of school? When Whiffy gets to school he is delighted to find out that he is still able to play and have fun all day long, does your reader play games at school? Do they have fun with their friends? Books can be a mirror to reflect the reader's personal world, and they can be a window into new and different experiences. 

Do this with your child:

After you read Whiffy Wilson The Wolf Who Wouldn't Go to School talk with your reader about their favorite parts of their school day. Ask them to recreate this with you while they take the lead. Whether it be story time, outside play, snack time or workshop/activity time allow them to play the role of teacher and explain how their favorite school activity works!

If you're interested in sharing Whiffy Wilson The Wolf Who Wouldn't Go to School with your child you can find it from Hachette Children's Group here


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 Join us for the 2017 RAR National Institute: The Road to Reading

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Friday, September 22, 2017

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School

FOR THE WEEKEND share this title with your child. 

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School is appropriate for school age children.


Summary:
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School from Jane Yolen and Mark Teague is a hilarious addition to the How Do Dinosaurs series. Silly rhyming text paired with bright and fun illustrations combine to create a fun read aloud masterpiece. Follow along to discuss how dinosaurs arrive to school and their behavior in and around the classroom.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Take a Picture Walk:
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School is a great book for taking a picture walk. Before you read, flip through the pages with your reader and ask what they're seeing on each page. Do they recognize types of dinosaurs, do they recognize things from their own schoolyard and classroom, what do they think might be happening? By engaging with the book before reading they'll develop a deeper connection to the overall experience. You'll love laughing along as dinosaurs are put into everyday situations!

Do this with your child:

After you read How Do Dinosaurs Go to School talk with your reader about their favorite parts of the story. Ask them what other things it might be silly to see a dinosaur doing. Have them draw a picture of their favorite silly dino scenario.

If you're interested in sharing How Do Dinosaurs Go to School with your child you can find it from Scholastic here


Click here to learn more about Raising A Reader and the work we do to promote early literacy and family engagement. 

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