In order to encourage parents to spend time reading with their children and to help children reap the many benefits of reading, the Child Development Center (CDC) in Ontario recently began the Raise a Reader program.
Early Childhood Educators started the program in their Head Start classroom, and it has been a great success. Logs were created for keeping track of the books the children checked out, and for parents to sign stating how much time was spent reading.
There has been a 100% participation rate from all of the families, and the children are excited to pick out new books each week and are spending several hours reading. When they have logged a certain number of hours reading on their log sheets, the children get to pick out a prize. Reading rewards include bronze, silver and gold star certificates, pizza celebrations and more.
"The children get excited each time they get to check out a new book," educator Dana Ware said. "The smile and joy on their faces when they walk into the center carrying their book bags on their shoulders shows that the children are enjoying the program and that they feel proud of their accomplishments."
The response from the Raise a Reader program has been so overwhelmingly positive that the CDCs are planning to roll it out at all of their locations.
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